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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Aug 15;77(16):5755-60. doi: 10.1128/AEM.05007-11. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Prevalence and genotypic characteristics of Clostridium difficile in a closed and integrated human and swine population.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA.

Abstract

Recently, an apparent rise in the number of cases attributed to community-acquired Clostridium difficile infection has led researchers to explore additional sources of infection. The finding of C. difficile in food animals and retail meat has raised concern about potential food-borne and occupational exposures. The objective of this study was to compare C. difficile isolated from a closed population of healthy individuals consisting of both humans and swine in order to investigate possible food safety and occupational risks for exposure. Using a multistep enrichment isolation technique, we identified 11.8% of the human wastewater samples and 8.6% of the swine samples that were positive for C. difficile. The prevalences of C. difficile in swine production groups differed significantly (P < 0.05); however, the prevalences in the two human occupational group cohorts did not differ significantly (P = 0.81). The majority of the human and swine isolates were similar based on multiple typing methods. The similarity in C. difficile prevalence in the human group cohorts suggests a low occupational hazard, while a greatly decreased prevalence of C. difficile in later-stage swine production groups suggests a diminished risk for food-borne exposure. The similarity of strains in the two host species suggests the possibility of a common environmental source for healthy individuals in a community setting.

PMID:
21724899
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3165271
Free PMC Article
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