The presence of C. diffcile in finisher pigs at slaughter age, are there variables of influence?
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A total of 677 faecal samples from finisher pigs at slaughter age was collected from 52 herds that originated from an equal number of farms. The samples were collected at a Vion slaughterhouse in Groenlo right after stunning and bleeding. The identification of C. difficile was done by PCR analysis. The overall prevalence of C. difficile at herd level was 8,6%. In total 16 different ribotypes were found, all of these have been previously found in human stool samples. From each of the farms a set of possible risk factors for the presence of C. difficile was obtained. Geographical location of a farm, hygiene status or slaughter age appeared to have an influence on the presence of C. difficile. Not enough data for were available to determine if the difference in prevalence among these variables was significant. To determine if these variables are truly of influence on the presence of C. difficile in finisher pigs further research is necessary.