The aim of the present study was to isolate Clostridium perfringens and C. difficile in crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous) from Northeastern Brazil. Stool samples of 18 captive crab-eating foxes from four states of Northeastern Brazil (Alagoas, Bahia, Paraíba e Pernambuco) were collected and subjected to C. perfringens and C. difficile isolation. Suggestive colonies of C. perfringens were then analyzed for genes encoding the major C. perfringens toxins (alpha, beta, epsilon and iota), beta-2 toxin (cpb2), enterotoxin (cpe), and NetB- (netB) and NetF- (netF) encoding genes. C. difficile strains were analyzed by multiplex-PCR for a housekeeping gene (tpi), toxins A (tcdA) and B (tcdB) and a binary toxin gene (cdtB). Unthawed aliquots of stool samples positive for toxigenic C. difficile were subjected to a commercial ELISA to evaluate the presence of A/B toxins. Clostridium perfringens (type A) was isolated from five (27%) samples, and only one sample was positive for beta-2 enconding gene (cpb2). Two (11%) stool samples were positive for C. difficile, but negative for A/B toxins. These two wild canids were also positive for C. perfringens type A. This is the first report of C. difficile in crab-eating fox.
diarrhea; carnivores; wild canids