Clostridium perfringens is an important pathogen causing sudden death syndrome, necrotic enteritis, and gas gangrene in ruminants, especially some deer species. Père David's deer (Elaphurus davidianus) is one of the world's rare species and is an endangered and protected species in China. Some Père David's deer in the Chinese Shishou Père David's Deer Preserve died due to C. perfringens infection. We investigated the toxin types and C. perfringens enterotoxin-positive (cpe ) strains of isolated C. perfringens in Père David's deer in China. We collected 155 fecal samples from the Beijing Nanhaizi Père David's Deer Park and the Jiangsu Dafeng Père David's Deer National Nature Reserve between July 2010 and July 2011. Bacteria isolated using blood agar and mannitol agar plates were identified by Gram staining and nested PCR for 16S rRNA. We isolated C. perfringens from 41 fecal samples and used PCR amplification of five toxin genes to identify the toxinotypes and the cpe strains of C. perfringens. Twenty-one isolates were type A, 15 were type E, and five were type D. Fifteen isolates were cpe strains, including eight that were type A and seven that were type E.
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Vol. 50 • No. 4