Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Advances In C. Difficile Research

Date:
June 6, 2008
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
New research into the toxins, virulence, spread and prevention of the superbug Clostridium difficile is reported in the Journal of Medical Microbiology. These findings will play a crucial role in providing us with ammunition in the fight against a sometimes deadly pathogen.

New research into the toxins, virulence, spread and prevention of the superbug Clostridium difficile is reported in the June special issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology. These findings will play a crucial role in providing us with ammunition in the fight against a sometimes deadly pathogen.

Related Articles


Clostridium difficile is found in the environment but is most common in hospitals. It can cause a serious hospital-acquired infection when antibiotics are used as they upset the balance of the normal gut flora, allowing C. difficile to grow and produce toxins. It is carried in the guts of 3% of healthy humans but carriage rates in hospital patients tend to be much higher and elderly people in hospitals, being treated with antibiotics are most at risk of developing infection. The bacteria produce spores when they encounter unfavourable conditions. Transmission of infection is through the ingestion of these spores which can survive on surfaces and floors for years and are resistant to many disinfectants and antiseptics, including alcohol hand gel.

Symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fever, bowel inflammation and possible perforation, which can be fatal. Only two antibiotics are regularly used to treat C. difficile infection: metronidazole and vancomycin, but relapse is a common problem following treatment. In 2004, a hypervirulent strain (C. difficile 027/NAP1/BI) was reported, which appears to make toxins more rapidly and at higher levels than other strains, as well as being resistant to many antibiotics, including fluoroquinolones.

Several studies in the Journal of Medical Microbiology look at the spread of C. difficile in different countries, including Austria and Korea. Research shows that the use of antibiotic increased the risk of outbreaks of the hypervirulent strain of C. difficile in the Netherlands. The issue also contains evidence to suggest that C. difficile could be spread between animals and humans -- researchers have isolated the bacterium from food animals in Slovenia.

Scientists investigated the effects of antibiotics, antigens and other agents on the virulence and pathogenicity of C. difficile. Toxins were also studied; research reveals some important information about the synthesis, processing and effects of different toxins. A new gene sequence has been discovered in the hypervirulent C. difficile 027 strain, which could be related to its increased virulence by affecting toxin binding.

The potential for a 'designer' probiotic for C. difficile is discussed. Professor Ian Poxton, former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Medical Microbiology said "this is an important approach that is hopefully much better than previously reported studies using commercially available yoghurt-like drinks, and certainly more palatable than 'faecal transplants'."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Advances In C. Difficile Research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602075851.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2008, June 6). Advances In C. Difficile Research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602075851.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Advances In C. Difficile Research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602075851.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins