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Vet Microbiol. 2011 Dec 15;153(3-4):205-17. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2011.03.020. Epub 2011 Mar 26.

Clostridium difficile infection in humans and animals, differences and similarities.

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Division of Public Health and Food Safety, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 2, 3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Clostridium difficile is well known as the most common cause of nosocomial infections in human patients. In recent years a change in epidemiology towards an increase in incidence and severity of disease, not only inside the hospital, but also in the community, is reported. C. difficile is increasingly recognized in veterinary medicine as well and is now considered the most important cause of neonatal diarrhea in swine in North America. Research on the presence of C. difficile in production and companion animals revealed a huge overlap with strains implicated in human C. difficile infection (CDI). This has lead to the concern that interspecies transmission of this bacterium occurs. In this review C. difficile infections in humans and animals are compared. The pathogenesis, clinical signs, diagnosis and prevalence of CDI are described and similarities and differences of CDI between humans and animals are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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