Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Infectious necrotic hepatitis

Synonym(s): clostridium novyi, Black's disease

Contributor(s): Mike Reynolds , Alan Murphy

Introduction

  • Cause: Clostridia novyi Type B.
  • Signs: acute death, acute onset illness and depression deteriorating rapidly to anterior abdominal pain, systemic toxemia, collapse and death.
  • Diagnosis: post mortem findings consistent with disease. FAT on impression smear from necrotic hepatic foci.
  • Treatment: Procaine Penicillin has been advocated, but peracute/acute death is the most common.
  • Prognosis: grave.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Clostridia novyi spores are ubiquitous in the environment, being present in vegetative matter and soil and gain entry to the body via ingestion.
  • Disease occurs from the activation of quiescent spores in the liver through the migration of immature Fasciola hepatica Fasciola hepatica: the parasite within the liver parenchyma creating hepatic infarction and an anaerobic environment for disease proliferation.  
  • Rapid sporulation and toxin production then causes a profound toxemia and rapid clinical deterioration.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Ingestion of forages contaminated with soil / decomposing vegetative matter.

Specific

  • Concurrent Fasciola hepatica infection.
  • Iatrogenic creation of a hepatic infarct through undertaking liver biopsies Liver biopsy.

Pathophysiology

  • A trigger factor, thought to be migrating liver fluke, activate quiescent spores within the liver parenchyma. This leads to rapid spore multiplication and the mass release of toxin causing pronounced tissue damage and toxemia.

Timecourse

  • Hours.

Epidemiology

  • Not commonly encountered in very young animals which do not normally have concurrent Fasciola hepatica infections.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMed Resource.
  • Mueller K (2015) Clostridial diseases in cattle and sheep. Cattle Practice 23 (1), 127-131.
  • Otter A & Davies I (2015) Disease features and diagnostic sampling of cattle and sheep post mortem examinations. In Practice 37, 293-305.
  • Harwood D G (2007) Clostridial Disease in Cattle: Part 2. UK Vet 12 (2),  21-24.
  • Harwood D G & Watson E N (2004) Clostridial Infection In Young Cattle - An Update. Cattle Practice 12 (3), 219-227.


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