Porcine and bovine Clostridium difficile ribotype 078 isolates demonstrate similar growth and toxigenic properties
Clostridioides (C.) difficile are found in cows, pigs and poultry suggesting that this pathogen is present and more importantly animals could act as a reservoir, via food or environment, of human C. difficile infection. Molecular methods together with phenotypical characterisation bring integrated and important tools to describe diversity and nature of bacteria including C. difficile. Moreover, similar or identical C. difficile types are found in different farm animals. This study aimed to phenotypically characterise C. difficile isolates belonging to ribotype 078 and to identify differences such as growth and toxicity between porcine and bovine isolates. C. difficile isolates were assessed for the growth behaviour (turbidimetry), metabolic potential (Biolog AN) and toxin production (ELISA method) in vitro. The concentration of released either toxin A (TcdA) or toxin B (TcdB) varied greatly between the isolates tested; however, it did not differ between the porcine and bovine ribotypes. Also, the TcdA/TcdB ratio of the isolates did not show a difference either. The most common metabolised substrates were pyruvic acid followed by α-ketobutyric acid. The results show that both porcine and bovine C. difficile RT 078 share similar phenotypical characteristics including growth and production of toxins. The findings may help understand the virulence of C. difficile RT 078 in porcine and bovine species.