Author Archives: cdifffoundation

November IS C.diff. (Clostridium difficile, C.difficile) Infection Awareness Month – Changing Lives – Saving Lives – Making a Difference With You

YOU CAN make a difference!

How?

Let us show you the ways……

It is as simple as sharing a graphic provided below or by sharing the website which is complete with C.diff. Infection key points on  Prevention, Treatments available, Clinical Trials in progress, Environmental Safety, Infection Prevention, Support, Healthcare Provider updates, Patient and Family resources and much more.

www.cdifffoundation.org

The valuable information located on the website can answer questions that develop during a C.difficile infection.  The website also provides important contact information with  listings of free patient/family programs.

It is empowering to share the information through the printed literature available.  The information will be mailed  to a physical address (not e-mailed) and can be shared with friends, family, health care professionals, and within your community.

Having a conversation —- sharing your story, accompanied with the facts found on the website explaining C.diff. prevention, treatments available, clinical trials, environmental safety, and support worldwide, is both appreciated and powerful.

To receive complimentary brochures, magnets and additional information – please complete the form below:

You are invited to join us in advocating for Cdiff Awareness during the month of November and every month after that because educating and advocating  for C.diff. prevention, treatments available, clinical trials, environmental safety, and support is important every day of the year.

Become a Volunteer Patient Advocate today

Thank you for considering taking steps forward and walking with us to witness a global change and decrease in newly diagnosed Clostridium difficile infections worldwide.

With our sincere gratitude 💚

The Committee Chairs, Patient Advocates, and Members of the C Diff Foundation Worldwide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Please Note:  ALL personal information submitted will never be shared or sold by the C Diff Foundation.  Name, Address, e-mail address will be utilized for the purpose set forth in this message.
  • Thank you .

 

Researchers Analyze the Potential Zoonotic Transmission of C.difficile Infection from Animals to Human Owners

Despite the low risk for Clostridium difficile
(C. difficile) passing between a cat or dog and their owner, the risk can’t be counted out, according to new research.

Researchers from Germany collected fecal samples from pets, such as cats and dogs in order to analyze the potential zoonotic transmission of C. difficile from animals to human owners.

A total of 1418 fecal samples were collected between July 2012 and August 2013 all across Germany; 415 households were included in the study.

To review the article in its entirety please click on the following link to be redirected:

https://www.mdmag.com/medical-news/potential-transfer-of-clostridium-difficile-from-dog-cat-to-household-owners

The pet owner, living in the same house with their pet, filled out a questionnaire and provided a fecal sample from each household member. The survey included basic data and about
C. difficile factors such as antibiotic use, but also asked about residential environment (such as the countryside).

The researchers also collected data about the pets, such as breed, age, sex, whether the animal was neutered, kept inside or outside the house, and if they participated in shows or other activities on differed sites.

The study authors explained that C. difficile infection reports in dogs demonstrate that companion animals can be a source of community-acquired infection in humans, though the data is scarce, especially in Germany, where research into such topics is restricted to cats and dogs in animal shelters only, and better studies haven’t been published in the last 30 years.

The analysis showed that the prevalence associated with C. difficile infection in households with pets was about 3%; the researchers said this is about the same as the rest of the community. The researchers also wrote that it was important to note C. difficile did not occur simultaneously in animals and humans sharing the same household.

“The same good hygienic practice for potentially pathogenic bacteria also applies for C. difficile,” study author Denise Rabold, doctoral student, research associate, Institute of Microbiology and Epizootics, Germany

“Sharing the same environment makes certain demands on pet-keeping households but does not demand specific requirements to prevent infections with C. difficile.

That means, for example, that we would not essentially recommend sleeping in the same bed but encourage hand hygiene for pet owners. However, if a C. difficile infection index case lives in the same household, advanced hygienic measurements should be applied to disable the spread of vegetative cells and spores of C. difficile — this implies also for disinfectants with an effective spectrum of activity against spores.”

Rabold said C. difficile has low isolation rates among cats, dogs and their owners, and the evidence of a high overlap in relevant ribotypes, as well as the risk assessment of the data from the survey, could suggest that there is zoonotic potential.

Despite all that, Rabold added that her findings are an “important tile in the puzzle of C. difficile infection epidemiology,” noting that other findings could dispel the team’s research.

The risk factors described for C. difficile humans still apply to animals — such as age, hospitalization, prior antibiotic use and contact with fecal matter or diarrhea — the researchers concluded.

Thus, in order to discover possible sources for community-acquired C. difficile and understand the zoonotic potential, more studies are needed.

The paper, titled “The zoonotic potential of Clostridium difficile from small companion animals and their owners,” was published in the journal Plos One.

Dr. Michael Pride, a Pfizer Scientist, Leads a Team Searching For Ways to Improve Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment of Clostridium difficile Infections

Dr. Pride of Pfizer leads a team that is searching for ways to improve diagnoses & treatment of C. difficile,

Dr. Michael Pride is the Executive Director, Vaccine Research and Development at Pfizer

Challenges, Chance and Looking Forward. Historically, a difficult diagnosis process has posed challenges to treatment for C. difficile infections, as detection is not straightforward. Dr. Pride and his team are working to tackle this issue by developing better ways to diagnose this infection, which will aid efforts to develop a vaccine. Additionally, he is encouraged by recent work that has demonstrated how an antibody can help prevent recurrent diseases, offering insight that an antibody-mediated response, raised by vaccines, may be a way to help reduce a primary episode of a C. difficile infection.

“If our vaccine is successful, we could help have a great impact on global health, reducing morbidity and even mortality worldwide,” he says. “I’m confident in our team, who is working tirelessly so that hopefully no one must suffer from these horrible symptoms again.”

Today, Dr. Pride leads a team of scientists responsible for the development, qualification and validation of various assays that support Pfizer’s vaccine programs.

 

 

Click on the link below to learn more about Dr. Michael Pride’s Work:

http://innovation.org/about-us/innovation-faces/researcher-profiles/michaelpride?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=NCAC&utm_term=02030501050201&utm_content=DrMichaelPride&sf200705754=1

 

Study Finds Factors That May Help Predict Which Patients Are More Likely to Develop a CDI

A cluster of factors may help predict
which patients are likely to develop Clostridium difficile
infection, a new study has found. And that could help
in efforts to prevent infection, according to the researchers.

Reduced immune function, recent antibiotic use, current or recent hospitalization and prior C. difficile infection predicted risk of subsequent infection, opening the door to potential preventive interventions.

“This could help healthcare providers red-flag those patients who are at high risk of C. diff, and may one day lead to therapeutic or dietary tactics to lower the chances of infection,” said the study’s co-lead author, Vanessa Hale of Ohio State University.

The study appears in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The research included studies in both humans and mice, and involved the transplant of feces from human study participants to mice to assess differences in susceptibility to
C. difficile infection and molecular-level explanations for that increased risk.

“Microbes in the gut play a critical role in defending against disease, and the really exciting part of this study is that it might help us better identify the risk factors that are linked to problems in the gut and susceptibility to these dangerous infections,” said Hale, an assistant professor of veterinary preventive medicine at Ohio State. The study was conducted at the Mayo Clinic, where she previously worked.

The researchers started by looking at the gut microbes of a group of 115 people who had diarrhea but who did not have C. diff when they first sought medical care, some of whom went on to develop a C. diff infection. They also analyzed the gut microbes of 118 healthy volunteers for comparison.

“About half of the diarrhea patients had gut microbial communities that looked healthy, but the guts of the other half were really intriguing – they had different microbes and very different levels of metabolites. We called this half the ‘dysbiotic’ – or unhealthy – group,” Hale said.

“When we transplanted human stool from the dysbiotic group into mice, we discovered that these mice were more likely to become infected with C. diff than mice that received human stool from the healthy-looking group.”

The researchers then examined potential risk factors found on the medical charts of individuals with “dysbiotic” and healthy-looking gut microbial communities and found a cluster of five factors that were associated with unhealthy communities.

“We knew that dysbiotic microbial communities put mice at higher risk of C. diff infection, and we wanted to see if the five factors could be used to predict C. diff infections in humans,” Hale said.

To do this, the research team went back and looked at the medical charts of more than 17,000 previous patients who were free of C. diff when they initially sought care. In that larger group, there also was a clear connection between the risk factors and subsequent C. diff infection.

Furthermore, the researchers found higher levels of amino acids – particularly proline – in the guts of mice that received transplants from people whose gut microbiomes were unhealthy, or dysbiotic.

That was interesting, and potentially important, because C. diff needs amino acids like proline to proliferate and it cannot make proline on its own. That prompted the team to wonder if reducing dietary amino acids could protect against C. diff, Hale said.

Feeding the mice diets low in protein moderately lowered the growth of C. diff, providing further evidence that amino acids – including proline – play a role in risk of infection and leaving researchers curious about the potential for dietary interventions in at-risk humans, Hale said.

“It’s possible that a dietary strategy could reduce C. diff infection in those patients who are deemed to be susceptible based on the cluster of risk factors we identified,” she said, adding that more study is needed to understand that relationship.

The study also showed that prophylactic fecal transplantation from a healthy donor could protect against C. diff in mice that were initially prone to infection.

“The transplants were fully protective against C. diff infection in all of the animals we tested, which was pretty amazing,” Hale said.

………………………It is unlikely that fecal transplantation would quickly be adopted as a prevention strategy in those deemed to be at elevated risk of infection, Hale said.

 

The National Institutes of Health and the Center for Individualized Medicine at Mayo Clinic supported the study.

Eric Battaglioli of Georgetown College was the co-lead author. Purna Kashyap of Mayo Clinic is the senior author.

Study Assessed Bezlotoxumab Cost Effectiveness Added To Standard of Care to Prevent rCDI In High-risk Patients From the Spanish National Health System

Abstract

Introduction

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the major cause of infectious nosocomial diarrhoea and is associated with considerable morbidity, mortality and economic impact. Bezlotoxumab administered in combination with standard of care (SoC) antibiotic therapy prevents recurrent CDI.

This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of bezlotoxumab added to SoC, compared to SoC alone, to prevent the recurrence of CDI in high-risk patients from the Spanish National Health System perspective.

Methods

A Markov model was used to simulate the natural history of CDI over a lifetime horizon in five populations of patients at high risk of CDI recurrence according to MODIFY trials: (1) ≥ 65 years old; (2) severe CDI; (3) immunocompromised; (4) ≥ 1 CDI episode in the previous 6 months; and (5) ≥ 65 years old and with ≥ 1 CDI episode in the previous 6 months. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) expressed as cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained was calculated. Deterministic (DSA) and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (PSA) were performed.

Results

In all patient populations (from 1 to 5), bezlotoxumab added to SoC reduced CDI recurrence compared to SoC alone by 26.4, 19.5, 21.2, 26.6 and 39.7%, respectively. The resulting ICERs for the respective subgroups were €12,724, €17,495, €9545, €7386, and €4378. The model parameters with highest impact on the ICER were recurrence rate (first), mortality, and utility values. The probability that bezlotoxumab was cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of €21,000/QALY was 85.5%, 54.1%, 86.0%, 94.5%, 99.6%, respectively.

Conclusion

The results suggest that bezlotoxumab added to SoC compared to SoC alone is a cost-effective treatment to prevent the recurrence of CDI in high-risk patients. The influence of changes in model parameters on DSA results was higher in patients  ≥ 65 years old, with severe CDI and immunocompromised. Additionally, PSA estimated that the probability of cost-effectiveness exceeded 85% in most subgroups.

To review article in its entirety, please click on the following link:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12325-018-0813-y

Breakout Labs Has Invested in SciBac, a Company Targeting the Growing Problem of Antibiotic Resistance

It’s not surprising that Breakout Labs, the Thiel Foundation‘s seed-stage fund that aims to propel radical science to improve human health, has invested in SciBac, a company targeting the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. Among health risks that threaten mankind, the one that may prove most deadly is the rise of superbugs — drug-resistant bacteria that can make simple surgeries and medical treatments like chemotherapy impossible.

Why Peter Thiel is backing a tiny start-up waging war against the global superbug crisis

  • 700,000 people worldwide die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections, and numbers are increasing.
  • Antimicrobial resistance is projected to kill more people than cancer by 2050, according to the World Health Organization.
  • Many big pharmaceutical companies are exiting the antibiotic drug development field due to low margins.
  • Start-ups like SciBac, which made the 2018 CNBC Upstart 100 list, are developing alternative solutions.

Over the years ever more powerful strains have spread around the world. It’s a crisis that has even garnered the attention of world leaders at the United Nations. That’s because the urgency is clear: 700,000 people die each year worldwide from antibiotic-resistant infections, and that number is increasing by the day. In the United States alone at least 2 million people become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 23,000 die each year as a result of those infections.

The future trend is alarming. According to the World Health Organization, Hemai Parthasarathyis projected to kill more people than cancer by 2050, which would reduce global economic output by between 2 percent and 3.5 percent — a staggering $100 trillion cut in GDP globally — and severely cripple modern medical and surgical advances.

A $40 billion superbug market Big Pharma is neglecting

It’s no wonder many scientists call antimicrobial resistance “a slow-motion tsunami.” Yet lack of drug development and discovery by Big Pharma has exacerbated the problem. “Within the last two years, five large pharmaceutical and many biotech companies have exited the field due to the scientific, regulatory and economic challenges posed by antibiotic discovery and development,” said Thomas Cueni, chairman of the AMR Industry Alliance, a coalition of 100 companies and pharmaceutical associations set up to curb antimicrobial resistance. Among the pharmaceutical giants to exit this research field: Novartis, AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Allergan.

The void has spurred many nimble biotech start-ups to look for solutions in this new $40 billion superbug market. One is SciBac, a biotherapeutics company named to the 2018 CNBC Upstart 100 list. The Silicon Valley start-up shifts the paradigm on how to tackle superbugs. It is developing a microbe pill to boost the body’s microbiome in the gut, lungs and skin to kill bacteria that cause antibiotic-resistant disease. Its first product treats and prevents Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), commonly known as deadly diarrhea and our nation’s top antibiotic-resistant threat. It is also working on developing a drug to treat and prevent chronic Pseudomonas infections in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.

“Our patented platform technology has applications to treat other infections,” said SciBac CEO Jeanette Mucha. “It allows us to mate different species of microbes into a single hybrid that can target specific diseases through multiple modes of action that kill the bacteria and toxins in the body. At the same time, the technology bolsters the microbiome for fast recovery.”

SciBac CEO, Jeanette Mucha is on a quest to develop an antibiotic alternative.

According to Hemai Parthasarathy, Ph.D., scientific director of the Thiel Foundation’s Breakout Labs, “It’s clear we are running out of an arsenal to attack the superbug crisis, and the world needs new approaches.”

To help SciBac’s team move their technology out of the lab, Breakout has taken a board role to help with business strategy and will help introduce the founders to venture capitalists and potential business partners in the months ahead.

To date, the three-year-old upstart has raised $1.45 million in equity financing and a $3.7 million grant from CARB-X, a nonprofit public-private partnership funded by the U.S. government, Wellcome Trust, the NIH, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.K government, that invests in antibacterial research worldwide. Its goal: to fast-track the development of a pipeline of new antibiotics, vaccines and other products to fight the war on superbugs.

“SciBac is essentially creating a new drug that is an antibiotic alternative,” said Kevin Outterson, executive director of CARB-X. “The microbiome is providing exciting new approaches to the prevention and treatment of life-threatening infections of all kinds. It’s a promising new scientific approach.”

SciBac’s answer to the superbug threat has caught the attention of investors.

As Outterson explains, most of the innovation in this field is coming from tiny pre-clinical trial companies like SciBac. That’s because many Big Pharma companies feel the margins aren’t worth the high R&D costs, which can run into the billions of dollars. “As soon as you make an antibiotic, it is already dying because bacteria are evolving in response to the drug. Eventually, random mutations will make antibiotic resistance come.”

For this reason, drug companies feel antibiotics are undervalued in the marketplace.

To help boost the start-up’s odds of success, CARB-X will provide SciBac with consultants and experts in R&D, toxicity and regulation that can help them navigate how to get their science from the lab to clinical trials for FDA approval. It has set milestones for the company that it must meet to get financing.

Like many entrepreneurs pursuing breakthrough science, Mucha seems energized by her formidable challenge of kickstarting the development of a new drug.

Mucha said she and co-founders Anthony Cann, a chemical engineer, and Derik Twomey, a cell biologist, stumbled on the idea. They had experience working with a species of bacteria known as clostridium while developing a biofuel for Cobalt Technologies. After that company closed shop, Mucha set up a lab in her garage to experiment with probiotics and see if she could induce gene transfer in bacteria. It worked. Then the entrepreneurs moved into an incubator, Molecular Sciences Institute in Milpitas, California, to set up a lab. Ten months later they applied to Breakout Labs for $350,000 of seed financing, which gave them matching funds to help secure the CARB-X grant. Now the company is in the midst of getting bridge financing to fund clinical trials and manufacturing.

“This drug development will take time,” Mucha said. “It won’t be ready for FDA drug approval until 2025. But we’re seeing a lot of investor interest in this alternative technology.”

 

To review article in its entirety please click on the following link to be redirected:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/09/peter-thiel-backs-a-start-up-fighting-the-global-superbug-crisis.html

 

 

 

Researchers Find Artificial Sweeteners Toxic To the Bacteria Found In the Digestive System

Artificial sweeteners commonly used in foods and drinks have a toxic effect on digestive gut microbes.

According to a study published in the journal Molecules, researchers found that six common artificial sweeteners approved by the Food and Drug Administration and 10 sport supplements that contained them were found to be toxic to the digestive gut microbes of mice.

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore tested the toxicity of aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame, and acesulfame potassium-k. They observed that when exposed to only 1 milligram per milliliter of the artificial sweeteners, the bacteria found in the digestive system became toxic.

“This is further evidence that consumption of artificial sweeteners adversely affects gut microbial activity which can cause a wide range of health issues,” Ariel Kushmaro, a professor in BGU’s department of biotechnology engineering, said in a press release.

According to the study, the gut microbial system “plays a key role in human metabolism,” and artificial sweeteners can “affect host health, such as inducing glucose intolerance.” Additionally, some of the effects of the new FDA-approved sweeteners, such as neotame, are still unknown.

However, the study found that mice treated with the artificial sweetener neotame had different metabolic patterns than those not treated, and several important genes found in the human gut had decreased. Additionally, concentrations of several fatty acids, lipids and cholesterol were higher in mice treated with neotame than in those not.

Because of the widespread use of artificial sweeteners in drinks and foods, many people consume them without knowing it. In addition to being found to be bad for health, some sweeteners have been identified as environmental pollutants. They can also be found in drinking water, researchers noted.

 

To view the article in its entirety – click on the following link to be redirected:

https://www.usnews.com/news/health-care-news/articles/2018-10-01/study-artificial-sweeteners-toxic-to-digestive-gut-bacteria