Prevalence and genotypic characteristics of Clostridium difficile in a closed and integrated human and swine population.
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Recently, an apparent rise in the number of cases attributed to community-acquired Clostridium difficile infection has led researchers to explore additional sources of infection. The finding of C. difficile in food animals and retail meat has raised concern about potential food-borne and occupational exposures. The objective of this study was to compare C. difficile isolated from a closed population of healthy individuals consisting of both humans and swine in order to investigate possible food safety and occupational risks for exposure. Using a multistep enrichment isolation technique, we identified 11.8% of the human wastewater samples and 8.6% of the swine samples that were positive for C. difficile. The prevalences of C. difficile in swine production groups differed significantly (P < 0.05); however, the prevalences in the two human occupational group cohorts did not differ significantly (P = 0.81). The majority of the human and swine isolates were similar based on multiple typing methods. The similarity in C. difficile prevalence in the human group cohorts suggests a low occupational hazard, while a greatly decreased prevalence of C. difficile in later-stage swine production groups suggests a diminished risk for food-borne exposure. The similarity of strains in the two host species suggests the possibility of a common environmental source for healthy individuals in a community setting.
author list (cited authors)
Norman, K. N., Scott, H. M., Harvey, R. B., Norby, B. o., Hume, M. E., & Andrews, K.
complete list of authors
Norman, Keri N||Scott, H Morgan||Harvey, Roger B||Norby, Bo||Hume, Michael E||Andrews, Kathleen