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Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Jul;14(7):1039-45. doi: 10.3201/eid1407.071641.

Toxinotype V Clostridium difficile in humans and food animals.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Clostridium difficile is a recognized pathogen in neonatal pigs and may contribute to enteritis in calves. Toxinotype V strains have been rare causes of human C. difficile-associated disease (CDAD). We examined toxinotype V in human disease, the genetic relationship of animal and human toxinotype V strains, and in vitro toxin production of these strains. From 2001 through 2006, 8 (1.3%) of 620 patient isolates were identified as toxinotype V; before 2001, 7 (<0.02%) of approximately 6,000 isolates were identified as toxinotype V. Six (46.2%) of 13 case-patients for whom information was available had community-associated CDAD. Molecular characterization showed a high degree of similarity between human and animal toxinotype V isolates; all contained a 39-bp tcdC deletion and most produced binary toxin. Further study is needed to understand the epidemiology of CDAD caused by toxinotype V C. difficile, including the potential of foodborne transmission to humans.

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