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Improving culture media for the isolation of Clostridium difficile from compost

Dharmasena, Muthu, Jiang, Xiuping
Anaerobe 2018 v.51 pp. 1-7
Clostridium difficile, agar, autoclaving, blood, broths, composts, culture media, cysteine, endospores, germination, horses, microorganisms, sodium, vegetative cells, yeast extract
This study was to optimize the detection methods for Clostridium difficile from the animal manure-based composts. Both autoclaved and unautoclaved dairy composts were inoculated with a 12-h old suspension of a non-toxigenic C. difficile strain (ATCC 43593) and then plated on selected agar for vegetative cells and endospores. Six types of enrichment broths supplemented with taurocholate and l-cysteine were assessed for detecting a low level of artificially inoculated C. difficile (ca. 5 spores/g) from dairy composts. The efficacy of selected enrichment broths was further evaluated by isolating C. difficile from 29 commercial compost samples. Our results revealed that using heat-shock was more effective than using ethanol-shock for inducing endospore germination, and the highest endospore count (p < 0.05) was yielded at 60 °C for 25 min. C. difficile agar base, supplemented with 0.1% l-cysteine, 7% defibrinated horse blood, and cycloserine-cefoxitin (CDA-CYS-H-CC agar) was the best medium (p < 0.05) for recovering vegetative cells from compost. C. difficile endospore populations from both types of composts enumerated on both CDA-CYS-H-CC agar supplemented with 0.1% sodium taurocholate (CDA-CYS-H-CC-T agar) and brain heart infusion agar supplemented with 0.5% yeast extract, 0.1% l-cysteine, cycloserine-cefoxitin, and 0.1% sodium taurocholate (BHIA-YE-CYS-CC-T agar) media were not significantly different from each other (p > 0.05). Overall, enrichment of inoculated compost samples in broths containing moxalactam-norfloxacin (MN) produced significantly higher (p < 0.05) spore counts than in non-selective broths or broths supplemented with CC. Enrichment in BHIB-YE-CYS-MN-T broth followed by culturing on an agar containing 7% horse blood and 0.1% taurocholate provided a more sensitive and selective combination of media for detecting a low population of C. difficile from environmental samples with high background microflora.