Clostridium difficile--a moving target
Posted on September 23, 2011 05:57 AM, in Pharmaceutical Microbiology
There is an interesting paper published by the Faculty of 1000
about the rise in C. difficile infections
and the fact that this has become complicated by the way in which new strains have emerged, written by Glenn S. Tillotson and Joni Tillotson.
Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic, spore-forming Gram-positive rod.
Clostridium difficile is transmitted from person to person by ingestion of the bacterium’s spores. The endospores can remain viable for long periods of time outside of a human host and are also restraint to many types of disinfectant. Within the body, the spores can survive the acidity of the stomach, germinating in the intestines where the bacteria release toxins that wreak havoc on the bowel, causing severe abdominal pain and diarrhea. And while the proper regime of antibiotics usually eliminates the infection, residual spores can remain.
B. DuPont, “The search for effective treatment of Clostridium difficile infection,” N Engl J Med, 364;473-75, 2011
There were three million cases of C. dififcle infections in the USA in 2010.