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Lab Anim Sci. 1991 Dec;41(6):548-52.

Clostridium difficile infection in adult hamsters.

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  • 1Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599.


Diarrhea was encountered in a group of adult female golden Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) used for titrating the scrapie agent. Ninety percent of the cases occurred in animals over 210 days old even though animals of all age groups lived in the colony concurrently. The cause of diarrhea was investigated in both uninoculated animals and those receiving greater than a limiting dilution of scrapie infectivity, i.e., animals that were not expected to contract the experimental scrapie disease. Three forms of diarrhea were observed. The most commonly encountered was profuse and watery. A chronic form presented with semiformed, thin fecal material smearing the retroperitoneal region. Hemorrhagic diarrhea was observed rarely. Mortality was high among animals with acute watery or hemorrhagic diarrhea. Animals with semiformed soft stools were dehydrated, had a roughened hair-coat, and hunched back. Cardinal lesions were necrosis, inflammation, and mucosal hyperplasia of the cecum and colon and cholangiohepatitis with amyloid deposition. Diffuse renal amyloidosis was present in chronic cases. Toxigenic, cytotoxin B-positive Clostridium difficile was isolated from a majority of affected animals. Cytotoxin B was also present in cecal homogenates of diarrheic animals with C. difficile. The pathological and microbiologic findings indicated a typhlitis and colitis in adult hamsters that was associated with C. difficile infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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