Black leg, tetanus, botulism are names for common
clostridia infections in cattle and sheep.

Clostridial infections of sheep and cattle are caused by a group of bacteria that exist in soil, on fields, within buildings and even in the tissues and intestines of cattle and sheep. Some bacteria can survive in the environment for years, and triggers such as changes in feed and management or stress can cause them to multiply and shed toxins. The toxins spread rapidly and cause death, often within one day. Some examples of clostridial diseases are black leg, malignant oedema, black disease, tetanus, botulism and enterotoxaemia. Due to the rapid progress of the disease, it is difficult to treat it successfully. Clostridial infection can be prevented by vaccinating against the 10 key pathogens for cattle and sheep.

Clostridial bacteria and symptoms

Clostridial bacteria are significant pathogens of livestock globally associated with various disease conditions. The bacteria are part of the normal flora of cattle and only become problematic when other stress factors such as dietary changes, injury, management changes, parasitism, or other lead to toxin production by the bacteria. Some of the most common conditions are enterotoxemia (C. perfringens type A-D and C. sordelli), Malignant oedema/Gas gangrene (C. novyi type B, C. perfringens type A, C. septicum, C. chauvoei, C. Sordelli), tetanus (C. tetani), blackleg (C. chauvoei), infectious bacillary hemoglobinuria (C. heamolyticum).


Vaccines containing inactivated organisms as well as toxoids such as Bravoxin® provide antigens to 10 types. Vaccines can be used as a general insurance against the most common clostridial diseases and the vaccination program can be tailored to the herd risk.

Prevention of disease requires a multidimensional, holistic program that takes factors into account, ranging from disease infection pressure on the farm to optimized animal immunity.

Bovilis® cattle vaccines against clostridia


Bravoxin® is a multivalent vaccine for cattle and sheep to provide immunisation against ten clostridial species which cause the following common diseases in livestock: Enterotoxaemia, Lamb Dysentery, Struck, Pulpy kidney, Braxy, Tetanus, Black Disease, Blackleg, Metritis, Bacterial Redwater, Abomasitis, and Malignant Oedema.


FAQs: the big questions answered

Get the insights on vaccination of cattle.


Go to your country website

Follow MSD Animal Health on social media