Association of iota-like toxin and Clostridium spiroforme with both spontaneous and antibiotic-associated diarrhea and colitis in rabbits

J Clin Microbiol. 1983 Mar;17(3):414-8. doi: 10.1128/jcm.17.3.414-418.1983.


A helically coiled, anaerobic, gram-positive sporeforming bacillus, identified as Clostridium spiroforme, was isolated from the cecal contents of all of 27 rabbits with spontaneous diarrhea, at a mean concentration of 10(6.0) spores per g of material. All of these rabbits also had a toxin present in their cecal contents that was neutralized by anti-Clostridium perfringens type E iota toxin, but not by other clostridial antitoxins. In addition, four rabbits with clindamycin-associated colitis were positive for C. spiroforme at a mean concentration of 10(4.5). All of these animals also had iota-like toxin present. Iota-like toxin was not detected in the cecal contents of 72 healthy animals, although C. spiroforme was found in two of these animals at a mean concentration of 10(6.0). C. spiroforme was shown to produce a toxin in vitro that was lethal to mice and caused dermonecrosis in guinea pigs. In all cases, this toxin was neutralized by anti-C. perfringens type E iota toxin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clindamycin / adverse effects
  • Clindamycin / analogs & derivatives
  • Clostridium / isolation & purification*
  • Clostridium Infections / veterinary*
  • Colitis / etiology
  • Colitis / veterinary*
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Diarrhea / veterinary*
  • Enterotoxemia / chemically induced
  • Enterotoxemia / veterinary
  • Enterotoxins / isolation & purification*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Mice
  • Rabbits / microbiology*


  • Enterotoxins
  • Clindamycin
  • clindamycin phosphate