Clostridium difficile in Food and Animals: A Comprehensive Review
Zoonoses are infections or diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans through direct contact, close proximity or the environment. Clostridium difficile is ubiquitous in the environment, and the bacterium is able to colonise the intestinal tract of both animals and humans. Since domestic and food animals frequently test positive for toxigenic C. difficile, even without showing any signs of disease, it seems plausible that C. difficile could be zoonotic. Therefore, animals could play an essential role as carriers of the bacterium. In addition, the presence of the spores in different meats, fish, fruits and vegetables suggests a risk of foodborne transmission. This review summarises the current available data on C. difficile in animals and foods, from when the bacterium was first described up to the present.
KeywordsClostridium difficile Epidemiology Animals Food Transmission
Our most sincere thanks go to Cate Chapman and Josh Jones for their support in editing the manuscript.
- Alvarez-Perez S, Blanco JL, Bouza E, Alba P, Gibert X, Maldonado J, Garcia ME (2009) Prevalence of Clostridium difficile in diarrhoeic and non-fdiarrhoeic piglets. Vet Microbiol 137:302–305Google Scholar
- Hafiz S (1974) Clostridium difficile and its toxins. (Thesis Ph.D) Department of Microbiology, University of Leeds.Google Scholar
- Lefebvre SL, Weese JS (2009) Contamination of pet therapy dogs with MRS and Clostridium difficile. J Hosp Infect 72:268–269Google Scholar
- Lizer J (2010) Development of a conventional pig model for Clostridium difficile infection and associated disease in neonatal pigs. Iowa State University, Graduate Theses and DissertationsGoogle Scholar
- Rodriguez C, Taminiau B, Brévers B et al (2014a) Carriage and acquisition rates of Clostridium difficile in hospitalized horses, including molecular characterization, multilocus sequence typing and antimicrobial susceptibility of bacterial isolates. Vet Microbiol 172:309–317PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Songer JG (2000) Infection of neonatal swine with Clostridium difficile. J Swine Health Prod 4:185–189Google Scholar
- Visser M, Sephri S, Sepehrim S et al (2012) Detection of Clostridium difficile in retail ground meat products in Manitoba. Can J Infect Dis 23:28–30Google Scholar
- Von Abercron SMM, Karlsson F, Wigh GT et al (2009) Low occurrence of Clostridium difficile in retail ground meat in Sweden. J Food Prot 72:1732–1734Google Scholar