The enteritis complex in domestic rabbits



Title The enteritis complex in domestic rabbits: a field study
Author(s) D. H. Percy, C. A. Muckle, R. J. Hampson, M. L. Brash
Journal The Canadian Veterinary Journal. La Revue Veterinaire Canadienne
Date 1993
Volume 34
Issue 2
Start page 95
End page 102
Abstract A study of the causative agents of enteritis in domestic rabbits from 44 different accessions is described. In descending order of frequency, the organisms most commonly demonstrated were intestinal and hepatic coccidia (Eimeria species), Escherichia coli, Clostridium spp., Salmonella, Bacillus piliformis, and rotavirus. The species of Eimeria identified included those moderately pathogenic and coccidia of low pathogenicity. Using seven antisera against known enterpathogenic strains of E. coli, only one strain, O15, was identified in three cases. Clostridium perfringens or C. spiroforme was demonstrated in the intestinal contents in 11 cases, and lesions compatible with clostridial enteropathy were identified on gross and histopathology. In a serological survey, over 50% of 200 fryer rabbits submitted to Ontario abattoirs and of animals from commercial rabbitries had detectable antibody to rotavirus, indicating the widespread distribution of rotaviral infections in this species. In the cases of enteritis studied, two or more potentially pathogenic organisms were frequently identified, emphasizing that several different organisms may be acting in concert to produce clinical disease.
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