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Int J Food Microbiol. 2013 Sep 2;166(2):256-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2013.07.017. Epub 2013 Jul 29.

Presence of Clostridium difficile in pigs and cattle intestinal contents and carcass contamination at the slaughterhouse in Belgium.

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Food Science Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, B43bis, Sart-Tilman, 4000 Liège, Belgium.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the presence of Clostridium difficile in intestinal and carcass samples collected from pigs and cattle at a single slaughterhouse. C. difficile was isolated in 1% and 9.9% of the pig and cattle intestinal contents and in 7.9% and 7% of cattle and pig carcass samples respectively. A total of 19 different PCR-ribotypes were identified, among them types 078 and 014. Seven of 19 ribotypes correlated with the PCR-ribotypes involved in human C. difficile infections in Belgium. This study confirms that animals are carriers of C. difficile at slaughter and ribotypes are identical than those in humans, and that carcass contamination occurs inside the slaughterhouse.


Carcass contamination; Clostridium difficile; Slaughter pigs and cattle

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