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Volume 15, Number 5—May 2009


Possible Seasonality of Clostridium difficile in Retail Meat, Canada

Alexander Rodriguez-PalaciosComments to Author , Richard J. Reid-Smith, Henry R. Staempfli, Danielle Daignault, Nicol Janecko, Brent P. Avery, Hayley Martin, Angela D. Thomspon, L. Clifford McDonald, Brandi Limbago, and J. Scott Weese
Author affiliations: University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada (A. Rodriguez-Palacios, R.J. Reid-Smith, H.R. Staempfli, N. Janecko, H. Martin, J.S. Weese); Public Health Agency of Canada, Guelph (R.J. Reid-Smith, B.P. Avery); Public Health Agency of Canada, Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada (D. Diagnault); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (A.D. Thompson, L.C. McDonald, B. Limbago)

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Table 1

Proportion of retail meat packages yielding Clostridium difficile in 4 culture replicates and estimated method sensitivity, Canada, 2006*†

Sample Culture method
% Samples with C. difficile
sensitivity, %‡
Enrichment Agar Ground beef Veal from milk-fed calves Both‡
Rinsate TCDMNB CDMNA 2.7 (4/149)§ 0 (0/65) 1.9 (4/214) 31
Meat¶ TCDMNB CDMNA 2.7 (4/149)§ 1.5 (1/65) 2.3 (5/214) 39
Meat¶ TCDMNB CDMNA 1.3 (2/149)§ 1.5 (1/65) 1.4 (3/214) 23

1.3% (2/149)
1.5 (1/65)
1.4 (3/214)
Total of contaminated packages# 6.7 (10/149) 4.6 (3/65) 6.1 (13/214)‡ 100

*Rinsate, sediment; TCDMNB, in-house C. difficile broth (CM0601; Oxoid, Basingstoke, UK) supplemented with cysteine hydrochloride, moxalactam, norfloxacin (CDMN, SR0173E; Oxoid), and 0.1% sodium taurocholate (Sigma-Aldrich, Inc., St. Louis, MO, USA) (4); Meat, 2 g; CDMNA, C. difficile agar supplemented with CDMN and 7% laked horse blood (SR0048C; Oxoid); TCCFB, broth supplemented with D-cycloserine and cefoxitin (SR0096E; Oxoid) and 0.1% sodium taurocholate; Blood, 5% defibrinated sheep blood.
†Poor test agreement was found among and between cultures (κ –0.28; p>0.9).
‡Culture sensitivity calculation based on parallel interpretation of all 4 cultures (standard comparator) and 6.1% of overall contamination. Duplicate testing sensitivity ranged from 46.2% (6/13) to 61.5% (8/13).
§Represents 2 packages that simultaneously tested positive in 2 culture replicates.
¶Protocol previously used to test meat; duplicate run (4).
#No statistical differences were found between ground beef and veal in any culture replicate (p>0.1).

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