Vaccination against Clostridium perfringens type C enteritis in pigs: a field study using an adapted vaccination scheme.

Richard, Olivia K.; Grahofer, Alexander; Nathues, Heiko; Posthaus, Horst (2019). Vaccination against Clostridium perfringens type C enteritis in pigs: a field study using an adapted vaccination scheme. Porcine health management, 5, p. 20. BioMed Central 10.1186/s40813-019-0127-8

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Clostridium perfringens type C induced necrotizing enteritis (NE) causes high mortality in newborn piglets. Immunization programs employing commercially available vaccines are used to prevent disease. Sows are vaccinated during every gestation period and piglets take up antibodies from the colostrum. Antibodies against the major clostridial toxin beta-toxin (CPB) are considered essential for protective immunity. Because the pathogen can persist for several years on farms, continuous vaccination is essential to protect pig herds from the re-occurrence of NE.


In two field trials using commercially available vaccines we monitored neutralizing anti-CPB antibodies in pigs after vaccination. The first trial compared antibody titers in primiparous (gilts) and multiparous sows and their piglets after vaccination. A proportion of gilts and their piglets' showed no or low antibody titers. All multiparous sows developed significantly higher serum and colostrum antibody titers after a booster vaccination shortly before their next farrowing. These colostral antibody titer highly correlated with the serum antibody titer of their piglets after consumption of colostrum. In a second field trial, we adapted the vaccination schemes using 3 instead of 2 initial vaccinations before the first farrowing of gilts. This significantly increased serum and colostrum antibody titers in gilts and serum antibody titers in piglets.


We demonstrate that despite following recommended vaccination protocols, a proportion of gilts might not sufficiently seroconvert to provide efficient passive immunity to their offsprings. A simple adaptation of the vaccination scheme can however improve passive protection of piglets from NE.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Animal Pathology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Swine Clinic
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)

UniBE Contributor:

Richard, Olivia, Grahofer, Alexander, Nathues, Heiko, Posthaus, Horst


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




BioMed Central




Nathalie Viviane Zollinger

Date Deposited:

03 Feb 2020 15:39

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:35

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Beta-toxin Clostridium perfringens type C Necrotizing enteritis Neutralizing antibodies Porcine Vaccination




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