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Open Access Highly Accessed Brief communication

Clostridium difficile in faeces from healthy dogs and dogs with diarrhea

Karl-Johan Wetterwik, Gunilla Trowald-Wigh*, Lise-Lotte Fernström and Karel Krovacek

Author Affiliations

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health, Division of Bacteriology and Food Safety, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7028, Uppsala, SE-750 07, Sweden

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Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2013, 55:23  doi:10.1186/1751-0147-55-23

Published: 12 March 2013

Abstract

Background

This study was conducted to evaluate the faecal occurrence and characterization of Clostridium difficile in clinically healthy dogs (N = 50) and in dogs with diarrhea (N = 20) in the Stockholm-Uppsala region of Sweden.

Findings

Clostridium difficile was isolated from 2/50 healthy dogs and from 2/20 diarrheic dogs. Isolates from healthy dogs were negative for toxin A and B and for the tcdA and tcdB genes. Both isolates from diarrheic dogs were positive for toxin B and for the tcdA and tcdB genes. The C. difficile isolates from healthy dogs had PCR ribotype 009 (SE-type 6) and 010 (SE-type 3) whereas both isolates from dogs with diarrhoea had the toxigenic ribotype 014 (SE-type 21). One of the isolates from healthy dogs was initially resistant to metronidazole.

Conclusions

This study revealed presence of toxigenic C. difficile in faecal samples of diarrheic dogs and low number of non- toxigenic isolates in healthy dogs from Uppsala-Stockholm region in Sweden. However, more comprehensive studies are warranted to investigate the role of C. difficile in gastrointestinal disease in dogs.

Keywords:
Clostridium difficile; Dog; Faeces; Toxins; Ribotyping; Antibiotic resistance pattern