Cleaning and disinfection and epidemiology of Clostridium difficile on a pig farm
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Background: piglets become infected with Clostridium difficile (CD) within 48 hours after birth through spores from the environment (Hopman et al. 2011). The aim of this study was to investigate which materials used on a pig farm can act as vector for CD spores and how cleaning and disinfection can play a role in reduction of the spores in the farrowing pens. Methods: In this study 3 farrowing pens were sampled on 3 different times; dirty, after the normal cleaning procedure and after disinfection. In total, 72 samples were taken from the floor of the farrowing pens. All floor samples were quantitatively analyzed, 24 floor samples were qualitatively analyzed. 5 pairs of boots and 4 overalls were tested, just as inaccessible places in the pens; the frame of the sow, bars of the manure storage and walls. These samples were qualitative and quantitative analyzed. Quantitative analysis: Samples were immersed with 36 ml of PFZ and put in the stomacher for 180 seconds. 1 ml of the mix was taken out and mixed with 1ml 96% ethanol to be alcohol shocked for 60 minutes. 0.1 ml was taken to be plated on CLO-plates and incubated for 48 hours under anaerobic conditions at 37°C. Qualitative analysis: CDMN broth was used instead of PFZ. The immersion was incubated for 7 days under anaerobic conditions. After that, 2 ml was alcohol shocked and centrifuged. The sediment was plated out and incubated for 48 hours under anaerobic conditions at 37°C. Results: Quantitative analysis: samples from the dirty pens were positive 17 times (70.8%). All samples taken from the pens after cleaning and disinfection were negative. 2 (50%) overalls were tested positive and 1 (33.3%) pair of boots was positive. Inaccessible places were negative. Qualitative analysis: 20 floor samples (83.3%) were positive. 3 (75%) overalls were positive, 4 (80%) pairs of boots were positive. Inaccessible places were all positive (100%). Conclusion: Based on the gained results, the cleaning procedure shows some effectiveness against CD. However, not all spores are washed away as shown after 7 days of incubation. This means that piglets can still get infected with the remaining spores. The positive tested overalls and boots can be a vector for CD spores.