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PLoS One. 2019 Feb 26;14(2):e0212965. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0212965. eCollection 2019.

The first isolation of Clostridium difficile RT078/ST11 from pigs in China.

Zhang LJ1,2, Yang L1,2, Gu XX1,2, Chen PX1,2, Fu JL1,2, Jiang HX1,2.

Author information

1
National Risk Assessment laboratory for antimicrobial resistance of animal original bacteria, College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University (SCAU), Guangzhou, China.
2
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Veterinary Pharmaceutics Development and Safety Evaluation, College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University (SCAU), Guangzhou, China.

Abstract

We investigated the molecular characteristics and antimicrobial susceptibility of Clostridium difficile isolated from animals in China. We obtained 538 rectal swabs from pigs, chickens and ducks in 5 provinces during 2015 and 2016. C. difficile isolates were characterized by detection of toxin genes, multilocus sequence typing and ribotyping. And antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using the agar dilution method. Out of 538 samples, 44 (8.2%) were C. difficile positive with high prevalence in pigs (n = 31). Among these, 39 (88.6%) were toxigenic including 14 (31.8%) that were A+B+CDT+ and 13 (29.5%) A+B+. The remaining 12 (27.3%) were A-B+. We identified 7 ST types and 6 PCR ribotypes. The most predominant type was ST11/RT078 with toxin profile A+B+CDT+ and all were isolated from piglets with diarrhea. ST109 isolates possessed two different toxigenic profiles (A-B-CDT- and A-B+CDT-) and although it was not the most prevalent sequence type, but it was widely distributed between chickens, ducks and pigs in the 5 provinces. All C. difficile isolates were fully susceptible to vancomycin, metronidazole, fidaxomicin, amoxicillin/clavulanate and meropenem but retained resistance to 4 or 5 of the remaining antibiotics, especially cefotaxime, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, cefoxitin. The RT078/ST11 isolates were simultaneously resistant to cefotaxime, tetracycline, cefoxitin, ciprofloxacin and imipenem. This is the first report of the molecular epidemiology of C. difficile isolated from food animals in China. We identified the epidemic strain RT078/ST11 as the predominate isolate among the animals we screened in our study.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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