Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Clostridium difficile is a ubiquitous spore-forming bacterium which causes toxin-mediated diarrhoea and colitis in people whose gut microflora has been depleted by antimicrobial use, so it is a predominantly healthcare-associated disease. However, there are many One Health implications to C. difficile, given high colonisation rates in food production animals, contamination of outdoor environments by use of contaminated animal manure, increasing incidence of community-associated C. difficile infection (CDI), and demonstration of clonal groups of C. difficile shared between human clinical cases and food animals. In Asia, the epidemiology of CDI is not well understood given poor testing practices in many countries. The growing middle-class populations of Asia are presenting increasing demands for meat, thus production farming, particularly of pigs, chicken and cattle, is rapidly expanding in Asian countries. Few reports on C. difficile colonisation among production animals in Asia exist, but those that do show high prevalence rates, and possible importation of European strains of C. difficile like ribotype 078. This review summarises our current understanding of the One Health aspects of the epidemiology of CDI in Asia.
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