The importance of Clostridium perfringens for most wild animal species remains unclear. This study aimed to isolate and genotype C. perfringens in stool samples from free-living South American coati (Nasua nasua) in Brazil. Forty-six free-living N. nasua were trapped and stool samples were collected. Two different protocols for C. perfringens isolation were tested: direct plating onto selective agar and pre-enrichment in broth followed by plating in selective agar. Clostridium perfringens type A was isolated from 15 (32.6%) animals by direct plating and 36 (78.3%) animals by broth PE, and the rate of isolation was significantly different between these two methods (P < 0.01). Twelve of the 36 (33.3%) isolated strains by the PE protocol were positive for the β-2 toxin-encoding gene (cpb2) whereas the enterotoxin-encoding gene (cpe) and necrotic enteritis like-B toxin gene (netb) were not found. These results suggest that C. perfringens is commonly part of the microbiota of free-living coatis. Additionally, the use of a PE protocol appears to be essential for studies on C. perfringens in this species.
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