C. difficile contamination in ground and processed meats

Although largely the domain of hospital-based infections, two recent studies findings show that C. difficile bacteria is found in a variety of ground and processed meats bought from grocery stores in Canada and the United States. This unexpected discovery some experts say may be linked to recent changes in the pattern of the disease with deaths reported in younger people and occurring outside of the hospital setting.

Some of the U.S. meats contained the hypervirulent C. difficile strain responsible for severe outbreaks in hospitals in Quebec, Britain and parts of the U.S. over the past few years. In Quebec alone, the strain is blamed for roughly 2,000 deaths in 2003 and 2004.

The Canadian study is published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

  • Dr. Scott Weese a University of Guelph professor in the Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph and is one of the study’s authors of the Canadian study.
    Dr. Weese’s laboratory is dedicated to infectious and zoonotic diseases, multi-drug resistant pathogens, and interspecies transmission of pathogen.

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