Clostridioides difficile in South American Camelids in Germany: First Insights into Molecular and Genetic Characteristics and Antimicrobial Resistance
Little is known about zoonotic pathogens and their antimicrobial resistance in South American camelids (SAC) in Germany including Clostridioides (C.) difficile. The aim of this study was to investigate prevalence, molecular characteristics and antimicrobial resistance of C. difficile in SAC. Composite SAC faecal samples were collected in 43 husbandries in Central Germany and cultured for C. difficile. Toxinotyping and ribotyping was done by PCR. Whole genome sequencing was performed with Illumina® Miseq™. The genomes were screened for antimicrobial resistance determinants. Genetic relatedness of the isolates was investigated using core genome multi locus sequence typing (cgMLST) and single nucleotide polymorphism analysis. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was done using the Etest® method. Eight C. difficile isolates were recovered from seven farms. The isolates belonged to different PCR ribotypes. All isolates were toxinogenic. cgMLST revealed a cluster containing isolates recovered from different farms. Seven isolates showed similar resistance gene patterns. Different phenotypic resistance patterns were found. Agreement between phenotypic and genotypic resistance was identified only in some cases. Consequently, SAC may act as a reservoir for C. difficile. Thus, SAC may pose a risk regarding zoonotic transmission of toxinogenic, potentially human-pathogenic and resistant C. difficile isolates.