Main content area

Type C botulism outbreak in feedlot cattle fed contaminated corn silage

Guizelini, Carolina C., Lemos, Ricardo A.A., de Paula, Juliana L.P., Pupin, Rayane C., Gomes, Danilo C., Barros, Claudio S.L., Neves, Danielle A., Alcântara, Lilian O.B., Silva, Rodrigo O.S., Lobato, Francisco C.F., Martins, Tessie B.
Anaerobe 2019 v.55 pp. 103-106
Clostridium botulinum, antitoxins, bioassays, botulinum toxin, botulism, case studies, corn silage, feedlots, mice, muscles, paralysis, steers, Brazil
A large outbreak of botulism in feedlot steers fed corn silage contaminated with Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin type C (BoNT/C) is reported occurring in Midwestern Brazil in August 2017. The onset of the outbreak occurred 15 days after 1700 steers started to be fed the contaminated corn silage. Affected steers were alert and afebrile with varying degrees of flaccid paralysis in various muscle groups. A total of 1100 steers were affected, 1090 of which died within four days. Ten steers recovered after treatment with antitoxin. No gross or microscopic lesions were found in affected steers. The diagnosis was based on epidemiological data, characteristic clinical signs, and positive mouse bioassay results. This outbreak is interesting due to the high number of fatally affected cattle and the on-site diagnostic approach. This case report demonstrates the difficulties in diagnosing and treating botulism in cattle.