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Clostridia perfringens is endemic in the poultry farming environment and the resistant stage of clostridium outside the host chicken ensures its survival. In the chicken the organism grows on the feed the chicken eats and its proliferation results in the production of a specific toxin that causes toxaemia, depression, external haemorrhages and death.

Image 1 – Clostridia perfringens proliferates in the intestinal environment and toxins thus produced cause damage to the mucosa. In acute cases onset of the condition is rapid and morbidity and mortality can be  high. Post-mortem examination reveals necrotic foci and pinpoint haemorrhages visible from the serosal surface. The lesions may also suggest the possibility of  Eimeria necatrix infection.

Image 2 – Post mortem examination revealing mucoid enteritis and haemorrhages evident from the presence of blood in the intestinal content. The lesions may sometimes be confused with Eimeria necatrix.

Image 3 –  Post mortem examination revealing very fragile and thin intestine distended with gas. The watery content is a greenish colour and has a characteristic smell.

Image 4 – Post mortem examination revealing very fragile and thin intestine and the lining of which is easily peeled away. The intestinal contents made up of smelly greenish debris typical of necrotic enteritis. Concurrent coccidiosis may also influence the severity of the disease.

Image 5 –  This congested and dark coloured liver was seen in a chicken which had died of Clostridia perfingens toxaemia.

Image 6, Image 7, Image 8 and Image 9 –  Showing haemorrhages of the wing and body.

Image 10 – Very fragile and thin intestine and the lining of which is easily peeled away.

Image 11 – Chicken showing depression  and external haemorrhaging – See left wing.



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