Diarrhea in dogs is one of the most common maladies facing the small animal practitioner, and bacterial enteropathogens play an important role in many cases. Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) are most common incriminated bacteria in canine diarrhea. Canine parvovirus (CPV) and coronavirus (CCV) are also very important infectious pathogens. The prevalence of infectious enteropathogenic agents is depends on the country. The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of viral and bacterial enteropathogens, and suggest a useful information for treatment in diarrheic dogs.
The 127 fecal specimens of diarrheic dogs suspected clinically with enteropathogenic infection were collected in 2007 from randomly selected regions in Korea. DNA and RNA were extracted from the fecal specimens, and then, PCR or RT-PCR was carried out to detect canine enteropathogenic agents, CPV, CCV, C. perfringens and C. difficile. VP2 gene of CPV, M gene of CCV, enterotoxin (cpe) and beta2 toxin (cpb2) genes of C. perfringens, and A and B toxin (tcdA and tcdB) genes of C. difficile were detected, respectively. As the results, CPV and C. perfringens had the high prevalence 52.0% and 50.4%, respectively. CCV had moderate prevalence (33.1%), and C. difficile had relative low prevalence (18.1%). There were no correlations of prevalences among the CPV, CCV, C. perfringens, and C. difficile. The cpe and cpb2 genes were detected 57.8% and 1.6% in 64 C. perfringens positive specimens. The tcdA and tcdB genes were detected 0.0% and 13.0% in 23 C. difficile positive specimens.
Unfortunately, only 71 of 127 dogs had the information about the prognosis. The 70.4% over the 71 dogs were survived. Dogs with CCV and cpe positive C. perfringens infection indicated higher prevalence of death. CCV infection indicated a significant difference between the dead and live group (57.1% and 32.0%, respectively) at a P<0.05 level of significance in statistical analysis. Although there was no statistical difference in the presence of cpe positive C. perfringens infection in the death and live group, the prevalence of cpe in the death group was 81.8%. These results imply that a Clostridium spp. control is important in infectious enteropathogenic diarrheic dogs regardless of enteropathogenic viruses prevalence.