Skip to main content

Prevalence and toxin type of Clostridium perfringens in beef from four different types of meat markets in Seoul, Korea


Beef is the primary source of foodborne poisoning caused by Clostridium perfringens. We investigated the prevalence of C. perfringens in retail beef from four different types of meat markets in Seoul using a standard culture method and real-time PCR assay. From June to September 2015, 82 beef samples were collected from 6 department stores (n=12), 14 butcher shops (n=28), 16 traditional markets (n=32), and 5 supermarkets (n=10). The culture method and real-time PCR assay revealed that 4 (4.88%) and 10 (12.20%) samples were positive for C. perfringens, respectively. The beef purchased from the department store showed the highest prevalence (16.67%), followed by the traditional market (3.12%), butcher shop (3.57%), and supermarket (0%) (p>0.05). All isolates were type A and negative for the enterotoxin gene. In conclusion, the real-time PCR assay used in this study could be useful for rapid detection and screening of C. perfringens in beef.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Miclard J, van Baarlen J, Wyder M, Grabscheid B, Posthaus H. Clostridium perfringens b-toxin binding to vascular endothelial cells in a human case of enteritis necroticans. J. Med. Microbiol. 58: 826–828 (2009)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Johnson S, Gerding DN. Enterotoxemic infections. pp. 117–140. In: The Clostridia: Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis. Rood JI, McClaine BA, Songer JG, Titball RW (eds). Academic Press, San Diego, CA, USA (1997)

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  3. Petit L, Gibert M, Popoff MR. Clostridium perfringensis: Toxinotype and genotype. Trends Microbiol. 7: 104–110 (1999)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Songer JG. Clostridial enteric diseases of domestic animals. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 9: 216–234 (1996)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Miyamoto K, Chakrabarti G, Morino Y, Mcclane BA. Organization of the plasmid cpe Locus in Clostridium perfringens type A isolates. Infect. Immun. 70: 4261–4272 (2002)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Baums CG, Schotte U, Amtsberg G, Goethe R. Diagnostic multiplex PCR for toxin genotyping of Clostridium perfringens isolates. Vet. Microbiol. 100: 11–16 (2004)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Bennett SD, Walsh KA, Gould LH. Foodborne disease outbreaks caused by Bacillus cereus, Clostridium perfringens, and Staphylococcus aureus—United States, 1998-2008. Clin. Infect. Dis. 57: 425–433 (2013)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. Processing Standards and Ingredient Specifications for Livestock Products (2016)

  9. Chon JW, Park J, Hyeon JY, Park C, Song KY, Hong KW, Hwang IG, Kwak HS, Seo KH. Development of real-time PCR for the detection of Clostridium perfringens in meats and vegetables. J. Microbiol. Biotechn. 22: 530–534 (2012)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Kim DH, Chon JW, Kim H, Kim HS, Choi D, Kim YJ, Yim JH, Moon JS, Seo KH. Comparison of culture, conventional and real-time PCR methods for Listeria monocytogenes in Foods. Korean J. Food Sci. An. 34: 665–673 (2014)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. ISO 7937:2004. Microbiology of food and animal feeding stuffs-Horizontal method for the enumeration of Clostridium perfringens—Colony-count technique.

  12. Chae HS, Kim YH, Kim JY, Kim JH, Kim GH, Choi TS, Shin BW, Lee DJ, Lee JH. Isolation and characterization of Clostridium perfringens on bovine and porcine carcass. Korean J. Vet. Serv. 29: 97–102 (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Tizhe JQ, Bello M, Kabir J, Jasini AM, Lamurde J. Isolation and biochemical identification of Clostridium perfringens from raw beef sold in retail outlets in Zaria Metropolis, Nigeria. Int. J. Curr. Microbiol. Appl. Sci. 4: 23–29 (2015)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Cooper KK, Bueschel DM, Songer JG. Presence of Clostridium perfringens in retail chicken livers. Anaerobe 1: 67–68 (2013)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Miki Y, Miyamoto K, Kaneko-Hirano I, Fujiuchi K, Akimoto S. Prevalence and characterization of enterotoxin gene-carrying Clostridium perfringens isolates from retail meat products in Japan. Appl. Environ. Microb. 74: 5366–5372 (2008)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Ko EK, Heo EJ, Kim YJ, Park HJ, Wi SH, Moon JS. Evaluation of microbiological contamination level of raw beef from retail markets in Seoul, Korea. Korean J. Food Sci. An. 33: 403–410 (2013)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Korea Institute for Animal Products Quality Evaluation. Distributor status of livestock products. Available from:, Accessed Nov, 2013.

  18. Bauer FT, Carpenter JA, Reagan JO. Prevalence of Clostridium perfringens in pork during processing. J. Food Protect. 44: 279–283 (1981)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Kim DH, Chon JW, Kim HS, Yim JH, Kim H, Seo KH. Rapid detection of Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens in kefir grain and kefir milk using newly developed real-time PCR. J. Food Protect. 78: 855–858 (2015)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Wen Q, Mcclane BA. Detection of enterotoxigenic Clostridium perfringens type A isolates in American retail foods. Appl. Environ. Microb. 70: 2685–2691 (2004)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Yoo HS, Lee SU, Park KY, Park YH. Molecular typing and epidemiological survey of prevalence of Clostridium perfringens types by multiplex PCR. J. Clin. Microbiol. 35: 228–232 (1997)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Smedley JG, Fisher DJ, Sayeed S, Chakrabarti G, Mcclane BA. The enteric toxins of Clostridium perfringens. Rev. Physiol. Bioch. P. 152: 183–204 (2004)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kun-Ho Seo.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Jeong, D., Kim, DH., Kang, IB. et al. Prevalence and toxin type of Clostridium perfringens in beef from four different types of meat markets in Seoul, Korea. Food Sci Biotechnol 26, 545–548 (2017).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Clostridium perfringens
  • prevalence
  • beef
  • meat market type
  • toxin typing