The prevalence of Clostridium difficile in faeces of pups without and with diarrhoea in the Netherlands
Leeuw, C.I.G. de
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Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive anaerobic spore-forming rod-shaped bacterium and is an important enteropathogen. It is a bacterium of which some strains can produce toxin A, toxin B and/or binary toxin. The bacterium is becoming more relevant in humans, but also in animals, as outbreaks of severe diarrhea related to C. difficile occur more and more frequently . The presence of C. difficile was investigated in 82 faecal samples from pups(≤ 1 year)with and without acute diarrhea in the Netherlands. We used two different selective media, Gram staining and a gluD PCR to detect positive samples. 13,4% (11/82) of the samples were positive for C. difficile of which 12,9% (4/31) were pups without diarrhea symptoms and 13,7% (7/51) were pups with acute diarrhea(< 10 days). In a pilot study in 2010, 68 faecal samples of pups from the same project had already been investigated with 20,6% (14/68) positive samples. 30,0% (6/20) of these samples were from pups without diarrhoea and 20,8% (10/48) were from pups with acute diarrhoea. In the second phase of this study we combined the results of these two studies. In total 150 samples were investigated of which 16,7% (25/150) were C. difficile positive. 19,6% (10/51) were pups without diarrhoea symptoms and 17,2% (17/99) were pups with acute diarrhoea. We concluded that there is no association between acute diarrhoea and the presence of C. difficile. Age and antibiotic use were investigated as potential risk factors for C. difficile infection(CDI). Both in the current study (n=82) and in the combined study (n=150) we found no association between the age and C. difficile. For the investigation of antibiotic use as risk factor we divided the antibiotic use in three categories: antibiotic use in total, antibiotic use before sampling and antibiotic use during sampling. 70 of the 82 samples contained information about antibiotic usage. In these samples we found an association between antibiotic use in total and C. difficile and an association between antibiotic use during sampling and C. difficile. There was no association between antibiotic use before sampling and C. difficile. We also used the data of the combined studies. 132 of the 150 samples contained data about antibiotic use and were studied. In all three categories we found an association between the antibiotic use and C. difficile. Use of antibiotics is a risk factor for prevalence of C. difficile in canine faecal samples.