<em>Clostridium difficile</em> in Poultry and Poultry Meat

Two per cent of chickens sampled had C. difficile isolates in their faeces, say researchers based in Texas, US.
calendar icon 17 September 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

The incidence and severity of disease associated with toxigenic Clostridium difficile have increased in hospitals in North America from the emergence of newer, more virulent strains.

In a short paper soon to be published in the journal, Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, Roger B. Harvey of the Food and Feed Safety Research Unit of USDA Agricultural Research Service at College Station in Texas and co-authors at US Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska and Texas A&M University say that toxigenic C. difficile has been isolated from food animals and retail meat with potential implications of transfer to human beings.

The objective of their study was to determine the prevalence of toxigenic C. difficile in chickens and retail poultry meat in Texas.

Seven C. difficile isolates were detected in faecal samples of 300 (2.3 per cent) broiler chickens.

Three cultivation procedures were evaluated for isolation of C. difficile from poultry meat and detected 1/32 (3.1 per cent), 2/32 (6.2 per cent) and 4/32 (12.5 per cent) for the three procedures, respectively.

Chicken and poultry meat isolates were characterised as toxinotype V and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis gel type-NAP7 or NAP7-variant.

Harvey and co-authors added that susceptibilities to 11 antimicrobial agents in the current study suggested somewhat reduced resistance than reported for other meat or animal toxinotype V isolates.


Harvey, R.B., K.N. Norman, K. Andrews, M.E. Hume, C.M. Scanlan, T.R. Callaway, R.C. Anderson and D.J. Nisbet. 2011. Clostridium difficile in poultry and poultry meat. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. ahead of print. doi:10.1089/fpd.2011.0936

Further Reading

- You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

September 2011
© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.