Parasitology Research

, Volume 110, Issue 4, pp 1347–1355 | Cite as

Necrotic enteritis due to simultaneous infection with Isospora suis and clostridia in newborn piglets and its prevention by early treatment with toltrazuril

  • Heidrun Mengel
  • Monika Kruger
  • Maxie U. Kruger
  • Bernhard Westphal
  • Alexander Swidsinski
  • Sandra Schwarz
  • Hans-Christian Mundt
  • Katja Dittmar
  • Arwid DaugschiesEmail author
Original Paper


In this study, 51 piglets originating from five different sows were included in the investigations. The animal source of all sows had a history of Clostridium perfringens type A (β2) infection. The piglets of three sows (n = 31) were experimentally infected with Isospora suis within the first 4 h after birth and were randomly assigned to the treatment group or the sham-dosing group. The piglets of the two remaining sows (n = 20) served as I. suis-uninfected controls. Twelve hours post-infection, the animals in the treatment group (n = 15) were treated with toltrazuril (20 mg/kg BW, Baycox® 5% suspension). During an observation period of 14 days faecal consistency, faecal oocyst counts, faecal germ counts, mortality, body weight development and clinical status were recorded. One piglet per study group and litter was necropsied, and intestinal tissue samples were taken for histopathological investigations and in situ hybridisation on study days (SDs) 3 and 14. I. suis-infected but untreated piglets showed clinical disease resulting in liquefaction of faeces and decreased body weight development. In 59.2% of the observations, I. suis-infected but untreated piglets showed abnormal faecal consistencies whereas only 12.0% or respectively 4.4% of the faecal samples had a pasty consistency in the I. suis-infected–treated or in the control animals. The mean body weight at the end of the study was 3.37 kg in the I. suis-infected but untreated piglets while the average body weight in the I. suis-infected–treated animals was calculated as 4.42 kg and the control animal’s mean body weight was 4.45 kg. Moreover, mortality, occurring between SDs 8 and 14, in this study group was 38.5% (n = 5), with 30.8% (n = 4) died from necrotic enteritis. In contrast, no piglets died in the I. suis-uninfected control group or in the toltrazuril-treated study group. The results of this study corroborate the hypothesis that simultaneous infection with I. suis and C. perfringens type A soon after birth leads to distinct interactions between the two pathogens and result in an increase in clinical disease, mortality and metabolically active C. perfringens type A.


Coccidiosis Newborn Piglet Toltrazuril Necrotic Enteritis Oocyst Excretion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Special thanks to Yvonne Kuhnert for the detection of excreted I. suis oocysts via epifluorescence microscopy.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidrun Mengel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Monika Kruger
    • 1
  • Maxie U. Kruger
    • 1
  • Bernhard Westphal
    • 3
  • Alexander Swidsinski
    • 4
  • Sandra Schwarz
    • 1
  • Hans-Christian Mundt
    • 5
  • Katja Dittmar
    • 1
  • Arwid Daugschies
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Coordination Staff for Veterinary Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Bayer VitalLeverkusenGermany
  4. 4.Laboratory for Molecular Genetics, Polymicrobial Infections and Bacterial Biofilms, Charité HospitalHumboldt UniversityBerlinGermany
  5. 5.Bayer HealthCare GmbHLeverkusenGermany

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