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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 M. 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 2

Molecular characteristics of 15 representative Clostridium difficile strains isolated from 13 of 214 retail meat packages tested in Canada, 2006*

Type† % (no.) Toxin genes‡ tcdC deletion Toxinotype PFGE§ Product–culture Month Province
M26 23.1 (3) AB, cdtB NA Nontypeable Unnamed VC–C3 Feb QC
GB–C2 Jan ON
GB–C2 Jun SK
077¶ 23.1 (3) A+B+, cdtB No 0 NAP2 GB–C3 Jan QC
GB–C1 Jan ON
GB–C3 Jan QC
23.1 (3) A+B+, cdtB+ 18 bp III NAP1 GB–C4 May ON
NAP1a GB–C4 Jun ON
VC–C4 Feb QC
014¶ 15.4 (2) A+B+, cdtB No 0 NAP4 GB–C1 May QC
GB–C2 Jan QC
C 7.7 (1) A+B+, cdtB No GB–C1 Jan ON
F 7.7 (1) A-B+, cdtB No VIII NAP9 GB–C2 Jan QC
H 7.7(1) A+B+, cdtB- No 0 Unnamed GB – C1 Jun QC
K 7.7(1) A+B+, cdtB+ 18 bp III NAP1-r VC–C2 Aug QC

*PFGE, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; NA, not amplified because it lacks pathogenicity locus; VC, veal chops; GB, ground beef; C1, rinsate/TCDMNB; C2, meat/TCDMNB; C3, meat/TCDMNB duplicate; C4, meat/TCFFB; QC, Québec; ON, Ontario; SK, Saskatchewan; –, not performed.
†Bidet’s PCR ribotyping method (9); 077 and 014; representative ribotypes with international nomenclatures assigned by Dr Jon Brazier, University of Wales, Wales, in a previous study (11). M26, non-toxigenic Canadian meat ribotype lacking pathogenicity locus (pers. com., M. Rupnik, University of Maribor, Slovenia) (5).
‡A, B; tcdA and tcdB genes. cdtB, binding segment of binary toxin; – and + superscripts indicate absence or presence of the gene. tcdC gene: no deletions (≈345 bp); 18 bp, deletion type B/C (8).
§Nomenclature at the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA. NAP1, North America PFGE type 1.
¶Meat PCR ribotypes matching concurrent local and international human ribotypes (2,3). Note that 28 C. difficile isolates initially identified were grouped into 15 strains based on molecular characteristics and source of origin; 2 meat samples simultaneously harbored 2 strains.

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