Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Razširjenost bakterije Clostridium difficile pri domačih živalih, v mesu in mesnih izdelkih, ter njen zoonotski pomen (Slovene)

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.04.02  Biotechnical sciences  Veterinarian medicine  Animal pathology and epizootiology 

Code Science Field
4.03  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Veterinary science 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (15)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  28448  PhD Jana Avberšek  Veterinarian medicine  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012  107 
2.  15199  PhD Majda Biasizzo  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2009 - 2012  123 
3.  14880  PhD Igor Gruntar  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2009 - 2012  107 
4.  24296  PhD Darja Kušar  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2009 - 2012  179 
5.  11879  PhD Jasna Mičunovič  Veterinarian medicine  Technician  2009 - 2012  84 
6.  11133  PhD Matjaž Ocepek  Veterinarian medicine  Principal Researcher  2009 - 2012  460 
7.  24612  PhD Mateja Pate  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2009 - 2011  273 
8.  24598  PhD Tina Pirš  Veterinarian medicine  Technician  2009 - 2012  82 
9.  28598  PhD Mateja Rakuša  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Junior researcher  2009 - 2010  57 
10.  12278  PhD Maja Rupnik  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  639 
11.  33511  PhD Valerija Tkalec  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2011 - 2012  50 
12.  18117  PhD Modest Vengušt  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2009 - 2012  128 
13.  33447  Urška Zajc  Veterinarian medicine  Technician  2011 - 2012  73 
14.  29659  Katja Zelenik  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2009 - 2011  23 
15.  08023  PhD Olga Zorman Rojs  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2009 - 2012  405 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0406  University of Ljubljana, Veterinary Faculty  Ljubljana  1627139  9,712 
Significance for science
Our study contribute important knowledge on prevalence of C. difficile in poultry and small ruminants, where data has been scarce until now. Also, extended knowledge on frequency and diversity of toxintoypes in these animal species, which had not been described before. This is also one of the most extended PCR ribotyping studies of human and animal isolates, and PFGE typing of animal isolates. The results indicate the animals as a potential source of infection for humans and show the transmission route of infections within and between animal species. Nucletotide sequences obtained from isolates of different animal species will allow development of more efficient methods for detection and typing of C. difficile. Meat and eggs were found as a possible, but unlikely source of C. difficile infections in our conditions. The study also includes one of the most comprehensive testing for antimicrobial susceptibility of animal strains and comparison to human strains, which have been isolated from common geographical area in the same time interval. As much as 30 antimicrobials have been tested for one strain and therefore we were able to get a good insight of susceptibility patterns within various animal species, various PCR ribotypes and toxinotypes, respectively. We improved the procedure for the detection of C. difficile in samples with low number of bacteria. Pre-enrichment step was added prior to LightCycler rtPCR with the purpose to increase the number of C. difficile in samples. Described procedure is accurate and rapid screening test for samples with low number of C. difficile.
Significance for the country
Basic data on prevalence of C. difficile in various animal species in Slovenia were obtained, also regarding animal age group. Genotyping of isolates and clonal comparison of animal and human bacterial population have shown possible transmission routes between different animal species and between animals and humans. Additionally, the environment has been found as an important source of clostridial spores for animals and humans. The results represent the basis for planning preventive measures for limitation of transmission and outbreaks, which would impact economical food production and evaluation of zoonotic potential of C. difficile infection. Slovenia is one of the first countries, where both human and animal reservoir are intensively investigated (published in Janezic et al., 2011, BMC Microbiol). Monitoring of antimicrobial susceptibility patterns and a possible increasing of resistance is very important, as results vary widely between the countries. There have been no metronidazole and vancomycin resistant strains found in Slovenia. However, we found multiresistant strains of various PCR ribotypes. In intensive pig farms, where antibiotics are commonly used for therapy and as well for prophylaxis, we found predominant resistance to oxacillin and steptomycin. This may be the basis to monitor these strains in future, also in connection with other resistant bacteria (MRSA), and to make guidance criteria for antimicrobial use in intensive farming. Improved procedure for the detection of C. difficile in samples with low number of bacteria, described within this project, is faster than existing methods and could be applied to different samples, which could broaden the knowledge about prevalence of C. difficile in food and environmental samples. Furthermore, there is no standard approach for the detection of C. difficile in food; therefore, application of improved procedure could enable comparison of results obtained in different studies. Within the research project there were more young researchers trained and educated. One doctoral thesis was finished and two more are in the process of finalisation. Members of the research groups published 26 scientific articles on C. difficile in the time of the project, 10 of those were published in journals of A1 category.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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