Pure cultures of an isolate of Clostridium sordellii obtained from a case of haemorrhagic enteritis in a two-year-old cow were used to infect calves in three experiments. C sordellii initiated a slight rise in rectal temperature and the passage of soft faeces containing blood and mucus within one to six days of inoculation in six calves in two controlled experiments. C sordellii was isolated from the faeces of all affected animals but only from their large intestines at slaughter. Mild inflammatory changes were seen in the gastrointestinal tract. The pathogenesis of C sordellii infection was studied in experimental calves and culture filtrate was found to produce similar clinical and pathological changes to those produced by whole culture. In these studies the organism was isolated from the anterior parts of the gastrointestinal tract only within four days of inoculation. The histological changes produced consisted of mild congestion and inflammatory change in the jejunal and ileal mucosa and dilatation of the crypts and capillary dilatation in the large intestinal mucosa. The relationship between C sordellii and the changes observed in natural and experimental infections was discussed and compared with that of C difficile infection in man.
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