Clostridium novyi

Clostridium novyi disease is characterized by gangrene and / or cellulitis with sudden death.

Alternative names: Clostridial diseases, gas gangrene, clostridial cellulitis


Clostridium novyi disease is characterized by gangrene and / or cellulitis with sudden death.

Clostridium is a very large Gram positive bacteria that produces spores. It is present in soil and in the intestine of all pigs. It multiplies rapidly and produces toxins that produce gas and kill the host very rapidly. This disease can be a big problem in breeding farms with an outdoor production. The organism can enter the body through wounds in the skin, underlying tissues and muscle. Bacterial spores can also be transported from their natural habitat, the intestine, to the liver where they can remain latent for long periods. The course of the disease is very short and often the only symptom is the death of the animal.

When sow mortality is higher than 4%, this disease should be taken into account.



  • Sudden death with a distended abdomen.
  • Gangrene, characterized by swollen areas, discolored and painful.
  • Fluids and gas are often present in tissues, especially in the liver.

Lactating and nursery piglets

  • None.

Fattening stage

  • Sudden death in bigger pigs.
  • Painful swelling of muscle mass and discoloration of these structures.
  • Gangrene.

Causes / Contributing Factors

  • A high number of bacteria in the environment.
  • Unknown factors.
  • Skin wounds that allow the entry of bacteria.


  • Clinical signs of sudden death.
  • Post-mortem lesions especially liver (full of gas and chocolate color) and subcutaneous edema.
  • Fluorescent antibody staining of direct smears from infected tissue.
  • Bacterial culture or PCR.
  • Differentiate from anthrax.



  • Clostridia are very sensitive to penicillin.
  • Vaccination.


  • Vaccination against C. novyi during fattening stage.

Nursery and fattening

  • Antibiotics during acute outbreaks.
  • Vaccination against C. novyi.

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