Clostridium novyi

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

Alternative names: Clostridial diseases, gas gangrene, clostridial cellulitis


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

Clostridium is a very large Gram positive 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.
  • Immunosuppressive diseases such as PRRS, fungal poisoning.



In acute cases it can be diagnosed based on clinical signs and post-mortem lesions. It is characterized by rapid post-mortem changes especially in the liver, which is full of gas and a chocolate color. To confirm the diagnosis, bacteria must be isolated or PCR performed. Anthrax should also be considered as a possibility.




  • Clostridia are very sensitive to penicillin.
  • In feed medication may be given with penicillin, bacitracin methylene disalicylate for 3-4 weeks to control acute outbreaks while a vaccination plan is established.
  • In the short term the disease can be prevented by giving long lasting injections of penicillin.
  • Vaccination.


  • Vaccination against C. novyi during fattening stage.

Nursery and fattening

  • Give oral antibiotics or by an injection particularly penicillin and amoxicillin.
  • The feed may be medicated with penicillin or bacitracin methylene disalicylate or you can top dress in the feed daily.
  • Vaccination against C. novyi.

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