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Clostridium difficile in retail meat and processing plants in Texas
- Harvey, Roger B., Norman, Keri N., Andrews, Kathleen, Norby, Bo, Hume, Michael E., Scanlan, Charles M., Hardin, Margaret D., Scott, Harvey M.
- Clostridium difficile, antibiotic resistance, antibiotics, bacterial contamination, bacterial toxins, food contamination, meat processing plants, pork, sausages, Texas
- 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. Toxigenic C. difficile has been isolated from food animals and retail meat with potential implications of transfer to human beings. The objective of the present study was to determine the prevalence of C. difficile in pork from sausage manufacturing plants and retail meat in Texas. Twenty-three C. difficile isolates were detected from 243 meat samples (9.5%) from 3 sausage-manufacturing plants and 5 retail meat outlets from 2004 to 2009. Twenty-two isolates were positive for toxins A, B, and binary toxin, and were characterized as toxinotype V, PFGE type-NAP7, or “NAP7-variant.” Susceptibilities to 11 antimicrobial agents in the current study were similar to those reported previously for toxinotype V isolates, although the results suggested somewhat reduced resistance than reported for other meat, animal, or human clinical toxinotype V isolates.