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Humans as reservoir for enterotoxin gene--carrying Clostridium perfringens type A

, : Humans as reservoir for enterotoxin gene--carrying Clostridium perfringens type A. Emerging Infectious Diseases 12(11): 1724-1729

We found a prevalence of 18% for enterotoxin gene-carrying (cpe+) Clostridium perfringens in the feces of healthy food handlers by PCR and isolated the organism from 11 of 23 PCR-positive persons by using hydrophobic grid membrane filter-colony hybridization. Several different cpe genotypes were recovered. The prevalence was 3.7% for plasmidial IS1151-cpe, 2.9% for plasmidial IS1470-like-cpe, 0.7% for chromosomal IS1470-cpe, and 1.5% for unknown cpe genotype. Lateral spread of cpe between C. perfringens strains was evident because strains from the same person carried IS1470-like cpe but shared no genetic relatedness according to pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis. Our findings suggest that healthy humans serve as a rich reservoir for cpe+ C. perfringens type A and may play a role in the etiology of gastrointestinal diseases caused by this organism. The results also indicate that humans should be considered a risk factor for spread of C. perfringens type A food poisoning and that they are a possible source of contamination for C. perfringens type A food poisoning.


PMID: 17283623

DOI: 10.3201/eid1211.060478

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