Clostridium difficile Research and Development Community August 2014


Here’s the latest from the

Clostridium difficile Research Community:


Scientists at the University of Leicester have identified a rapid method of identifying C.difficile based on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by different C.difficile strains using Proton transfer reaction–time of flight–mass spectrometry (PTR–ToF–MS). Current methods of detecting and diagnosing CDI take anywhere between 2-5 days, leading to a delay in treatment that could have potential life threatening implications in some patients. PTR–ToF–MS analysis is capable of detecting VOCs of C.difficile metabolites in cultures within minutes and could potentially be used to detect VOCs in fecal samples from CDI patients.

CRISPR/Cas system is a form of bacterial adaptive immunity that helps control phage infections. Multiple CRISPR/Cas arrays have been identified in C.difficile. In this artciel by Hargreaves et al. the distribution and diversity of the CRISPRs have been studied and how these affect phage predation, evolution and pathogenecity.

C. difficile express flagella as a mechanism for motility, although the role of flagella in the pathogenecity of CDI is not clearly understood. Faulds-Pain et al have studied the post-translational modification of flagellin in C. difficile 630 using NMR and have identified 4 gene modification locus. Mutants strains had some impact on motility, colonization, and recurrence in a murine model of CDI showing that alterations in the flagellar structure can play a significant role in disease.

A history of C.difficile from the beginning to where we are today.


Chandrabali Ghose-Paul,MS,PhD, Chairperson of Research and Development