Project description:Antibiotic usage is the most commonly cited risk factor for hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile infections (CDI). The increased risk is due to disruption of the indigenous microbiome and a subsequent decrease in colonization resistance by the perturbed bacterial community; however, the specific changes in the microbiome that lead to increased risk are poorly understood. We developed statistical models that incorporated microbiome data with clinical and demographic data to better understand why individuals develop CDI. The 16S rRNA genes were sequenced from the feces of 338 individuals, including cases, diarrheal controls, and nondiarrheal controls. We modeled CDI and diarrheal status using multiple clinical variables, including age, antibiotic use, antacid use, and other known risk factors using logit regression. This base model was compared to models that incorporated microbiome data, using diversity metrics, community types, or specific bacterial populations, to identify characteristics of the microbiome associated with CDI susceptibility or resistance. The addition of microbiome data significantly improved our ability to distinguish CDI status when comparing cases or diarrheal controls to nondiarrheal controls. However, only when we assigned samples to community types was it possible to differentiate cases from diarrheal controls. Several bacterial species within the Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Bacteroides, and Porphyromonadaceae were largely absent in cases and highly associated with nondiarrheal controls. The improved discriminatory ability of our microbiome-based models confirms the theory that factors affecting the microbiome influence CDI. IMPORTANCE The gut microbiome, composed of the trillions of bacteria residing in the gastrointestinal tract, is responsible for a number of critical functions within the host. These include digestion, immune system stimulation, and colonization resistance. The microbiome's role in colonization resistance, which is the ability to prevent and limit pathogen colonization and growth, is key for protection against Clostridium difficile infections. However, the bacteria that are important for colonization resistance have not yet been elucidated. Using statistical modeling techniques and different representations of the microbiome, we demonstrated that several community types and the loss of several bacterial populations, including Bacteroides, Lachnospiraceae, and Ruminococcaceae, are associated with CDI. Our results emphasize the importance of considering the microbiome in mediating colonization resistance and may also direct the design of future multispecies probiotic therapies.
Project description:Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) causes nearly half a million cases of diarrhea and colitis in the United States each year. Although the importance of the gut microbiota in C. difficile pathogenesis is well recognized, components of the human gut flora critical for colonization resistance are not known. Culture-independent high-density Roche 454 pyrosequencing was used to survey the distal gut microbiota for 39 individuals with CDI, 36 subjects with C. difficile-negative nosocomial diarrhea (CDN), and 40 healthy control subjects. A total of 526,071 partial 16S rRNA sequence reads of the V1 to V3 regions were aligned with 16S databases, identifying 3,531 bacterial phylotypes from 115 fecal samples. Genomic analysis revealed significant alterations of organism lineages in both the CDI and CDN groups, which were accompanied by marked decreases in microbial diversity and species richness driven primarily by a paucity of phylotypes within the Firmicutes phylum. Normally abundant gut commensal organisms, including the Ruminococcaceae and Lachnospiraceae families and butyrate-producing C2 to C4 anaerobic fermenters, were significantly depleted in the CDI and CDN groups. These data demonstrate associations between the depletion of Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and butyrogenic bacteria in the gut microbiota and nosocomial diarrhea, including C. difficile infection. Mechanistic studies focusing on the functional roles of these organisms in diarrheal diseases and resistance against C. difficile colonization are warranted.
Project description:Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic, Gram-positive pathogen that causes C. difficile infection, which results in significant morbidity and mortality. The incidence of C. difficile infection in developed countries has become increasingly high due to the emergence of newer epidemic strains, a growing elderly population, extensive use of broad spectrum antibiotics, and limited therapies for this diarrheal disease. Because treatment options currently available for C. difficile infection have some drawbacks, including cost, promotion of resistance, and selectivity problems, new agents are urgently needed to address these challenges. This review article focuses on two parts: the first part summarizes current clinical treatment strategies and agents under clinical development for C. difficile infection; the second part reviews newly reported anti-difficile agents that have been evaluated or reevaluated in the last five years and are in the early stages of drug discovery and development. Antibiotics are divided into natural product inspired and synthetic small molecule compounds that may have the potential to be more efficacious than currently approved treatments. This includes potency, selectivity, reduced cytotoxicity, and novel modes of action to prevent resistance.
Project description:Clostridium difficile is a leading cause of nosocomial infections, causing disease that ranges from mild diarrhea to potentially fatal colitis. A variety of surface proteins, including flagella, enable C. difficile colonization of the intestine. Once in the intestine, toxigenic C. difficile secretes two glucosylating toxins, TcdA and TcdB, which elicit inflammation and diarrheal disease symptoms. Regulation of colonization factors and TcdA and TcdB is an intense area of research in C. difficile biology. A recent publication from our group describes a novel regulatory mechanism that mediates the ON/OFF expression of co-regulated virulence factors of C. difficile, flagella and toxins. Herein, we review key findings from our work, present new data, and speculate the functional consequence of the ON/OFF expression of these virulence factors during host infection.
Project description:Clostridium difficile infection causes diarrheal disease with potentially fatal complications. Although treatments are available, including vancomycin, metronidazole, and fidaxomicin, the recurrence of disease after therapy remains a problem. LFF571 is a novel thiopeptide antibacterial that shows in vitro potency against C. difficile that is comparable to or greater than that of other clinically used antibiotics. Here, we compare the pharmacokinetics (PK) of LFF571 and vancomycin in patients with C. difficile infection as part of an early efficacy study. This multicenter, randomized, evaluator-blind, and active-controlled study evaluated the safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of LFF571 in adults with primary episodes or first relapses of moderate C. difficile infections. Patients were randomized to receive 200 mg of LFF571 or 125 mg of vancomycin four times daily for 10 days. The PK parameters were calculated from drug concentrations measured in serum and fecal samples. The systemic exposure following oral administration of 200 mg of LFF571 four times per day for 10 days in patients with C. difficile infection was limited. The highest LFF571 serum concentration observed was 41.7 ng/ml, whereas the levels in feces at the end of treatment were between 107 and 12,900 ?g/g. In comparison, the peak vancomycin level observed in serum was considerably higher, at 2.73 ?g/ml; the levels of vancomycin in feces were not measured. Similar to healthy volunteers, patients with C. difficile infections exhibited high fecal concentrations and low serum levels of LFF571. These results are consistent with the retention of LFF571 in the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT01232595.).
Project description:This proof-of-concept study demonstrates the application of a novel nucleic acid detection platform to detect Clostridium difficile in subjects presenting with acute diarrheal symptoms. This method amplifies three genes associated with C. difficile infection, including genes and deletions (cdtB and tcdC) associated with hypervirulence attributed to the NAP1/027/BI strain. Amplification of DNA from the tcdB, tcdC, and cdtB genes was performed using a droplet-based sandwich platform with quantitative real-time PCR in microliter droplets to detect and identify the amplified fragments of DNA. The device and identification system are simple in design and can be integrated as a point-of-care test to help rapidly detect and identify C. difficile strains that pose significant health threats in hospitals and other health-care communities.
Project description:Background: Clostridium difficile is known as a prevalent pathogen leading to infections ranging from mild diarrhea to severe disease and death. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the incidence of C. difficile from inpatients with nosocomial diarrhea hospitalized in different wards in the northwest region of Iran. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 485 diarrheal stool samples were collected from 384 patients referred from different wards of Imam Reza, Sina and Pediatric hospitals, Tabriz and transferred to the laboratory from 25 March 2015 till 1 March 2018. Immuno-chromatographicassay for detection of toxins A and B of C. difficile was used for identification. Results: Clostridium difficile was isolated from 24 (4.7%) out of 485 samples. Fifteen patients(62.5%) were males and 9 were females (37.5%). Twelve positive patients were from the gastrointestinal ward (50%), 5 patients (20.8%) from surgery ward, 3 patients from infectious disease ward (12.5%), 3 patients from rheumatology ward (12.5%) and 1 patient (4.1%) were collected from neurology ward. 95.3% of diarrhea samples had no signs from toxin A and B. Conclusion: These results indicate most of infected patients were from the gastrointestinaland surgery wards which show a different pattern of infection compared to previous studies.The neurology department had the lowest rate of infection. C. difficile is a health threat afterantibiotic consumption and for health promotion, developing strategies for less antibioticconsumption and preventing these emerging infections is critical. The low rate of this infection shows improvement in knowledge and effect of stewardships in physicians.
Project description:Fecal microbiome transplantation by low-volume enema is an effective, safe, and inexpensive alternative to antibiotic therapy for patients with chronic relapsing Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). We explored the microbial diversity of pre- and posttransplant stool specimens from CDI patients (n = 6) using deep sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. While interindividual variability in microbiota change occurs with fecal transplantation and vancomycin exposure, in this pilot study we note that clinical cure of CDI is associated with an increase in diversity and richness. Genus- and species-level analysis may reveal a cocktail of microorganisms or products thereof that will ultimately be used as a probiotic to treat CDI. IMPORTANCE Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) due to Clostridium difficile is a widespread phenomenon in hospitals today. Despite the use of antibiotics, up to 30% of patients are unable to clear the infection and suffer recurrent bouts of diarrheal disease. As a result, clinicians have resorted to fecal microbiome transplantation (FT). Donor stool for this type of therapy is typically obtained from a spouse or close relative and thoroughly tested for various pathogenic microorganisms prior to infusion. Anecdotal reports suggest a very high success rate of FT in patients who fail antibiotic treatment (>90%). We used deep-sequencing technology to explore the human microbial diversity in patients with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) disease after FT. Genus- and species-level analysis revealed a cocktail of microorganisms in the Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes phyla that may ultimately be used as a probiotic to treat CDI.
Project description:We present a novel methodology to construct a Boolean dynamic model from time series metagenomic information and integrate this modeling with genome-scale metabolic network reconstructions to identify metabolic underpinnings for microbial interactions. We apply this in the context of a critical health issue: clindamycin antibiotic treatment and opportunistic Clostridium difficile infection. Our model recapitulates known dynamics of clindamycin antibiotic treatment and C. difficile infection and predicts therapeutic probiotic interventions to suppress C. difficile infection. Genome-scale metabolic network reconstructions reveal metabolic differences between community members and are used to explore the role of metabolism in the observed microbial interactions. In vitro experimental data validate a key result of our computational model, that B. intestinihominis can in fact slow C. difficile growth.
Project description:The spore-forming bacterial pathogen Clostridium difficile is a leading cause of health care-associated infections in the United States. In order for this obligate anaerobe to transmit infection, it must form metabolically dormant spores prior to exiting the host. A key step during this process is the assembly of a protective, multilayered proteinaceous coat around the spore. Coat assembly depends on coat morphogenetic proteins recruiting distinct subsets of coat proteins to the developing spore. While 10 coat morphogenetic proteins have been identified in Bacillus subtilis, only two of these morphogenetic proteins have homologs in the Clostridia: SpoIVA and SpoVM. C. difficile SpoIVA is critical for proper coat assembly and functional spore formation, but the requirement for SpoVM during this process was unknown. Here, we show that SpoVM is largely dispensable for C. difficile spore formation, in contrast with B. subtilis. Loss of C. difficile SpoVM resulted in modest decreases (~3-fold) in heat- and chloroform-resistant spore formation, while morphological defects such as coat detachment from the forespore and abnormal cortex thickness were observed in ~30% of spoVM mutant cells. Biochemical analyses revealed that C. difficile SpoIVA and SpoVM directly interact, similarly to their B. subtilis counterparts. However, in contrast with B. subtilis, C. difficile SpoVM was not essential for SpoIVA to encase the forespore. Since C. difficile coat morphogenesis requires SpoIVA-interacting protein L (SipL), which is conserved exclusively in the Clostridia, but not the more broadly conserved SpoVM, our results reveal another key difference between C. difficile and B. subtilis spore assembly pathways. IMPORTANCE The spore-forming obligate anaerobe Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrheal disease in the United States. When C. difficile spores are ingested by susceptible individuals, they germinate within the gut and transform into vegetative, toxin-secreting cells. During infection, C. difficile must also induce spore formation to survive exit from the host. Since spore formation is essential for transmission, understanding the basic mechanisms underlying sporulation in C. difficile could inform the development of therapeutic strategies targeting spores. In this study, we determine the requirement of the C. difficile homolog of SpoVM, a protein that is essential for spore formation in Bacillus subtilis due to its regulation of coat and cortex formation. We observed that SpoVM plays a minor role in C. difficile spore formation, in contrast with B. subtilis, indicating that this protein would not be a good target for inhibiting spore formation.