Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Development of Clostridium difficile laboratory diagnostics in animals

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.04.00  Biotechnical sciences  Veterinarian medicine   

Code Science Field
B230  Biomedical sciences  Microbiology, bacteriology, virology, mycology 
Clostridium difficile, typing, molecular diagnostics, veterinary microbiology
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (20)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  28448  PhD Jana Avberšek  Veterinarian medicine  Junior researcher  2008  119 
2.  08220  PhD Vojislava Bole-Hribovšek  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2005 - 2007  124 
3.  17572  PhD Marko Cotman  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2006 - 2008  116 
4.  17569  PhD Mitja Gombač  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2005 - 2007  200 
5.  14880  PhD Igor Gruntar  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2005 - 2008  112 
6.  14881  PhD Igor Klobučar  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2005 - 2007  72 
7.  14194  PhD Tina Kotnik  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2005 - 2008  141 
8.  30064  PhD Katarina Logar  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2008  27 
9.  11879  PhD Jasna Mičunovič  Veterinarian medicine  Technical associate  2005 - 2008  87 
10.  11133  PhD Matjaž Ocepek  Veterinarian medicine  Head  2005 - 2008  468 
11.  15633  MSc Tomislav Paller  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2005 - 2007  76 
12.  24612  PhD Mateja Pate  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2005 - 2007  277 
13.  24598  Tina Pirš  Veterinarian medicine  Technical associate  2005 - 2007  84 
14.  15315  PhD Metka Pislak Ocepek  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2005 - 2007  151 
15.  12278  PhD Maja Rupnik  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2005 - 2008  683 
16.  11489  PhD Aleksandra Vergles Rataj  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2005 - 2008  154 
17.  08506  PhD Jelka Zabavnik Piano  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2005 - 2008  204 
18.  07171  PhD Tomaž Zadnik  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2006 - 2007  483 
19.  12682  PhD Irena Zdovc  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2005 - 2008  464 
20.  08834  PhD Marko Zupan  Plant production  Researcher  2005 - 2008  512 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0406  University of Ljubljana, Veterinary Faculty  Ljubljana  1627139  10,694 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,575 
The aim of our research project is to add to fundamental knowledge on the bacterium Clostridium difficile, which has been long recognised as the most common cause of nosocomial intestinal infections in humans. Since recently, C. difficile was not regarded as a frequent pathogen in animals, therefore not many epidemiological studies were published and animal host-specific diagnostic methods were not developed in veterinary microbiology. Therefore, the main objectives of this project are to obtain new and advanced knowledge about the importance of C. difficile as a cause for animal disease, and to asses the possibility of animals as a reservoir for human infections. In the framework of the project, C. difficile toxin genes will be sequence and compared with each other and with the sequences obtained in preliminary studies. Established nucleotide sequences of the strains isolated from various animal species will enable development of more effective methods for detection and typing. Thus, molecular methods for more rapid and effective diagnostics will be developed (real time PCR using LightCycler and ABIPRISM 7000), which can be used in human and veterinary medicine. Also, we will try to increase the sensitivity of some existing molecular methods, which were described in C. difficile research in human medicine, but do not detect all variant strains. The strains will be typed using molecular methods and clonality of bacterial populations will be compared among human and animal hosts, which will enable to assess whether and to what extent C. difficile infection is transmitted among animal species and from animals to humans. Antibiotic sensitivity of C. difficile will be determined, which is underdocumented for the animal strains. In humans strains resistant to the antibiotic of choice, metronidazol, are starting to emerge. The frequency of various toxinotypes will be determined in animals and this will help in gathering data on characteristics and mechanisms of action of the variant C. difficile toxinotypes, with their role in the disease still being unclear. New data on C. difficile and its prevalence in animal population will enable efficient measures to prevent the spread and outbreaks of infection in animals and to prevent possible transmission to humans. The project will provide an overview of economic impact of C. difficile infections in various animal species in Slovenia. The project will also enable graduates and Ph students to directly participate in research work.
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