Background: Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile is the most common nosocomial pathogen and antibiotic-related diarrhea in health-care facilities. Over the last few years, there was an increase in the incidence rate of C. difficile infection cases in Slovakia. In this study, the phenotypic (toxigenicity, antimicrobial susceptibility) and genotypic (PCR ribotypes, genes for binary toxins) patterns of C. difficile isolates from patients with CDI were analyzed, from July to August 2016, taken from hospitals in the Horne Povazie region of northern Slovakia. The aim of the study was also to identify hypervirulent strains (e.g., the presence of RT027 or RT176).
Methods: The retrospective analysis of biological samples suspected of CDI were analyzed by GDH, anaerobic culture, enzyme immunoassay on toxins A/B, multiplex "real-time" PCR and PCR capillary-based electrophoresis ribotyping, and by MALDI TOF MS.
Results: C. difficile isolates (n = 44) were identified by PCR ribotyping, which revealed five different ribotypes (RT001, 011, 017, 081, 176). The presence of hypervirulent RT027 was not identified. The C. difficile isolates (RT001, 011, 081, 176) were susceptible to metronidazole and vancomycin. One isolate RT017 had reduced susceptibility to vancomycin. A statistically significant difference between the most prevalent PCR ribotypes, RT001 and RT176, regarding variables such as albumin, CRP, creatinine, the length of hospitalization (p = 0.175), and glomerular filtration (p = 0.05) was not found.
Conclusion: The results of PCR capillary-based electrophoresis ribotyping in the studied samples showed a high prevalence of RT176 and 001.
Keywords: Clostridioides difficile infection; PCR capillary-based electrophoresis ribotyping; multi-step algorithm; multiplex “real-time” PCR.