Clostridium difficile in Food and Animals: A Comprehensive Review

  • C. Rodriguez
  • B. Taminiau
  • J. Van Broeck
  • M. Delmée
  • G. Daube
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 932)


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.


Clostridium difficile Epidemiology Animals Food Transmission 



Our most sincere thanks go to Cate Chapman and Josh Jones for their support in editing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Rodriguez
    • 1
  • B. Taminiau
    • 1
  • J. Van Broeck
    • 2
  • M. Delmée
    • 2
  • G. Daube
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food ScienceUniversity of Liège-Faculty of Veterinary MedicineLiègeBelgium
  2. 2.Belgian Reference Centre for Clostridium difficile (NRC), Pôle de microbiologie médicaleUniversité Catholique de LouvainBrusselsBelgium

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