This particular 027 strain, known as NAP 1 in North America seems to be pig associated.
Other strains may be too. The writer first suspected a connection some years ago and started pressing publicly for tests on pigs. See here for Dutch research.
It first showed up in Britain in areas where he knew the pigs were ill with Circovirus (Lowestoft) and killed 22 hospital patients.
In Quebec, where hundreds of people died, the pigs were sick with Circovirus too.
It now seems that things are worse in Britain than elsewhere. The pigs, still sick with Circovirus, remain untested for C.Diff.
Britain has highest rates of dangerous superbug in Europe: research
Britain has the highest proportion of a dangerous 'super-strain' of the hospital bug Clostridium difficile in Europe, according to a new study.
7:30AM GMT 16 Nov 2010
There are dozens of strains of C-diff, a bug which takes hold in vulnerable hospital patients who have been treated with antibiotics and causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting. It can be fatal.
Overuse of antibiotics and poor hygiene are thought to be the cause of the disease spreading.
A new Europe-wide study investigated cases of C-diff in a selection of hospitals in 29 countries, examining a particularly dangerous strain called 027.
The results, published in The Lancet medical journal, show that across Europe, the 027 strain accounted for just five per cent of all C.diff cases, making it only the sixth most common variant.
But in the British hospitals where samples were tested, the rate was at least 25 per cent of C.diff cases, one in four.
The latest data from the Health Protection Agency shows there are around 25,500 C.diff cases in England a year meaning that if the pattern were reperated across the country then thousands of patients are suffering the more dangerous strain... (more)