A Case Report of a Botulism Outbreak in Beef Cattle Due to the Contamination of Wheat by a Roaming Cat Carcass: From the Suspicion to the Management of the Outbreak

Type Article
Date 2019-12
Language English
Author(s) Le Maréchal Caroline1, Hulin Olivier2, Macé Sabrina1, Chuzeville Cécile3, Rouxel Sandra1, Poëzevara Typhaine1, Mazuet Christelle4, Pozet Françoise5, Sellal Eric6, Martin Laure1, Viry Alain5, Rubbens Christine7, Chemaly Marianne1
Affiliation(s) 1 : ANSES, Laboratoire de Ploufragan—Plouzané, Unité Hygiène et Qualité des Produits Avicoles et Porcins, BP 53, 22440 Ploufragan, France
2 : Cabinet Vétérinaire de Bletterans, 16, Rue de la Demi-Lune, 39140 Bletterans, France
3 : GDS 71, Loche, 99 Rue des Grands Crus, 71000 Mâcon, France
4 : National Reference Center for Anaerobic Bacteria and Botulism, Pasteur Institute, 25-28 rue du Docteur Roux, 75724 Paris, France
5 : Laboratoire Départemental d’Analyses du Jura, 59 Rue du Vieil Hôpital, 39800 Poligny, France
6 : Agrivalys 71, 267 Rue des Épinoches, 71000 Mâcon, France
7 : Direction Départementale de la Protection des Populations de la Saône et Loire, 71 Rue Jean Macé, 71000 Mâcon, France
Source Animals (2076-2615) (MDPI AG), 2019-12 , Vol. 9 , N. 12 , P. 1025 (16p.)
DOI 10.3390/ani9121025
Note This article belongs to the Special Issue Wild Animals' Infectious Disease: The Wild–Domestic–Human Interface
Keyword(s) cattle botulism, cat carcass, PCR, wheat, Clostridium botulinum, feed contamination

We report a botulism outbreak in Charolais cattle fed with wheat flour contaminated by Clostridium botulinum type C and the management of the outbreak at each step from the clinical suspicion to the cleaning and disinfection operations. Diagnosis was based on typical suggestive clinical signs and detection of C. botulinum type C using real-time PCR in samples collected from three young affected bulls. All young exposed bulls and cows (18 animals) eventually died, but three young bulls and one cow were recovering when it was decided to euthanize them. C. botulinum type C was detected in the liver of these four animals. Analysis of the ration components demonstrated that wheat flour, wheat, and the mill used to make flour were positive for C. botulinum type C. A dead cat positive for C. botulinum type C was discovered in the silo where wheat grain was stored and was considered the source of contamination. The cat’s entire body was found mummified, well preserved, and not rotting in the silo. Specific measures, in particular, vaccination of the rest of the herd and cleaning and disinfection operations, were implemented to prevent any recurrence of the outbreak. The presence of wild animal carcasses in feed harboring anaerobic conditions like silage, in particular during harvesting, are known to be at risk for the initiation of a botulism outbreak. This outbreak is a reminder that the presence of an animal carcass in feed, regardless of the kind of feed and whenever the contamination occurs, either during harvesting or storage, is sufficient to induce a botulism outbreak.

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Le Maréchal Caroline, Hulin Olivier, Macé Sabrina, Chuzeville Cécile, Rouxel Sandra, Poëzevara Typhaine, Mazuet Christelle, Pozet Françoise, Sellal Eric, Martin Laure, Viry Alain, Rubbens Christine, Chemaly Marianne (2019). A Case Report of a Botulism Outbreak in Beef Cattle Due to the Contamination of Wheat by a Roaming Cat Carcass: From the Suspicion to the Management of the Outbreak. Animals, 9(12), 1025 (16p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121025 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00603/71516/