Clostridium difficile is a pathogen frequently found in the gastrointestinal tract, which either colonize the colon of hospitalized patients but also healthy individuals. This microorganism has received much attention in recent years due the increased incidence and severity of infections caused in the community, thus venting the hospital. Clostridium difficile is an emerging pathogen in animals and recent reports show a significant clonal relation between isolates from calves and humans. It has also been found in various foods including meat, which suggests that they may be involved in the transmission of C. difficile from animals to humans. This study aimed to detect and quantify C. difficile in meat sold in traditional shops and supermarkets in Porto and Lisbon. Microbiological evaluation was performed using two methods, one based on direct counting of C. difficile and other based on the detection of this microorganism by using a pre-enrichment of the samples and pre-treatment with 96% ethanol prior to inoculation in the selective medium. This study included 145 products purchased between January 2012 and January 2013: 60 samples of beef (veal and beef), 20 samples of minced pork, 24 samples of chicken (thighs, wings, neck, overthighs, gizzards and burgers), 39 traditional sausages (“alheira”, fresh sausage, “paio”, blood sausage, smoked ham, ham, “chouriço”, “linguiça” and “moura”) and two samples of bivalve molluscs. It was found that all samples were negative for enumeration and detection of C. difficile by the methods used. The prevalence of C. difficile in retail meat may not be as high as some reports indicate, yet its potential presence should not be ignored. Given the growing evidence of the presence of this agent in various foods, future studies should include a larger number of samples and include foods from diverse origins. The development of more effective methods of detection should still be considered. This microorganism may become an important disease-causing agent, so it is very important to understand its impact on public health and ways to minimize or prevent its transmission to humans should be investigated.
|Date of Award||15 Mar 2015|
- Universidade Católica Portuguesa
|Supervisor||Paula Teixeira (Supervisor)|
- Mestrado em Engenharia Alimentar