Retail chicken meats as potential sources of Clostridioides difficile in Al-Jouf, Saudi Arabia

  • Ahmed Elsayed Taha Attia Microbiology and Immunology unit, Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Jouf University, Sakaka City, Al-Jouf, Saudi Arabia
Keywords: Antibiotics, Contamination, Prevalence, Resistance, Spores, Toxins, Saudi Arabia


Introduction: Presence of Clostridioides difficile in stool of food birds and animals is a risk for contamination of their meats to become potential sources of human infection. The main virulence factors of C. difficile are its resistance to antibiotics, production of toxins and spores. As far as I know, this is the first study to evaluate C. difficile prevalence in chicken meats, its toxigenic activities and antibiotics sensitivity patterns in Al-Jouf, Saudi Arabia.

Methodology: Totally, 250 raw chicken meat samples were examined. Standard microbiological and biochemical procedures were used for C. difficile isolation and identification. The suspected colonies were tested by L-proline and C. difficile test kits then confirmed by Vitek 2 compact system. Xpect C. difficile toxin A/B test was used to detect A/B toxins production. Antibiotics susceptibility patterns were detected by Epsilon tests.

Results: C. difficile was isolated from 11/250 (4.40%) chicken meat samples; 5/65 (7.69%) legs, 3/65 (4.61%) thighs, 2/60 (3.33%) wings and 1/60 (1.67%) breasts (p = 0.4). All isolates were non-toxigenic. Although all isolates were vancomycin sensitive, some isolates were intermediate/resistant to metronidazole, tetracycline, clindamycin or moxifloxacin antibiotics with variable degrees.

Conclusions: C. difficile might contaminate retail chicken meats. Although low level of contamination by non-toxigenic strains was detected, chicken meats should be investigated as C. difficile infection sources for humans especially elders, immune-compromised and long terms wide spectrum antibiotics-used persons. Decreased sensitivity of C. difficile to antibiotics is emerging.

How to Cite
Taha Attia AE (2021) Retail chicken meats as potential sources of Clostridioides difficile in Al-Jouf, Saudi Arabia. J Infect Dev Ctries 15:972-978. doi: 10.3855/jidc.13624
Original Articles