Introduction: Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) infection (CDI) is the most common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and one of the common infections in healthcare facilities. In recent decades, there has been an emerging threat of community-acquired CDI (CA-CDI). Environmental transmission of C. difficile in the community setting has become a major concern, and animals are an important reservoir for C. difficile causing human diseases. Areas covered: In this article, the molecular epidemiology of C. difficile in animals and recent evidences of zoonotic transfer to humans are reviewed based on an electronic search in the databases of PubMed and Google Scholar. Expert opinion: C. difficile can be found in stool from diarrheal dogs and cats; therefore, household pets could be a potential source. C. difficile will threaten human health because hypervirulent C. difficile ribotype 078 strains have been found in retail chickens, pig farms, and slaughterhouses. Risk factors for fecal C. difficile carriage in animals include young age, dietary changes, and antibiotic abuse in domestic animals. With the advent of whole genome sequencing techniques, there will be more solid evidence indicating zoonotic transfer of C. difficile from animals to humans.
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