Danish Study Finds Superbug C. difficile Can Jump Between Pigs and Humans, Providing Evidence of Zoonotic Spread; Study Links Drug-Resistant Infections Circulating in Hospital Patients to Bacteria in Danish Pigs

A study investigating samples of the superbug Clostridioides difficile across 14 pig farms in Denmark finds the sharing of multiple antibiotic-resistance genes between pigs and human patients, providing evidence that that animal to human (zoonotic) transmission is possible. The study, by Dr. Semeh Bejaoui and colleagues from the University of Copenhagen and Statens Serum Institut in Denmark, is being presented at this year’s European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Lisbon, Portugal (April  23-26). “Our finding of multiple and shared resistance genes indicate that C. difficile is a reservoir of antimicrobial resistance genes that can be exchanged between animals and humans”, says Dr. Bejaoui. “This alarming discovery suggests that resistance to antibiotics can spread more widely than previously thought, and confirms links in the resistance chain leading from farm animals to humans.”

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