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A large outbreak of bovine botulism possibly linked to a massive contamination of grass silage by type D/C Clostridium botulinum spores on a farm with dairy and poultry operations

Abstract : Type D bovine botulism outbreaks associated with poultry litter are increasingly reported in European countries, but the circumstances of exposure to Clostridium botulinum toxins remain unclear. In spring 2015, a large type D/C bovine botulism outbreak affected a farm with dairy and poultry operations. Epidemiological and laboratory investigations strongly suggest that the outbreak was caused by feeding cattle with insufficiently acidified grass silage that was contaminated by type D/C C. botulinum spores. The source of the spores remains unclear, but could have been a stack of poultry litter stored in the grass silage pasture before harvesting. The presence of putrefied poultry carcasses mixed in with the litter is relatively unlikely considering the careful daily removal of poultry carcasses. These findings reinforce the importance of proper ensiling of feed materials and highlight the need for safe disposal of poultry litter, even in the case of good management of poultry deadstock, in order to prevent bovine botulism.
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https://hal-pasteur.archives-ouvertes.fr/pasteur-01820516
Contributor : Floran Bidault <>
Submitted on : Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 5:42:12 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 26, 2020 - 2:52:05 PM

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A. Relun, L. Dorso, A. Douart, C. Chartier, R. Guatteo, et al.. A large outbreak of bovine botulism possibly linked to a massive contamination of grass silage by type D/C Clostridium botulinum spores on a farm with dairy and poultry operations. Epidemiology and Infection, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2017, 145 (16), pp.3477 - 3485. ⟨10.1017/S0950268817002382⟩. ⟨pasteur-01820516⟩

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