Tag Archives: C. difficile research

Researchers Examined the Effect of Disinfectant on C. difficile Spores and How They Survived Afterwards On Surfaces Including Isolation Gowns, Stainless Steel and Vinyl Flooring

In lab studies, researchers found that C. diff spread easily from disposable gowns often employed in surgery or infection control to stainless steel and vinyl surfaces.

“The [bacteria] also transferred to vinyl flooring, which was quite disturbing. We didn’t realize they would,” said Tina Joshi, a lecturer in molecular microbiology at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom and lead author of the new study.

“These bugs evolve. These bugs like to stay one step ahead. And even though we’re using disinfectants and antibiotics appropriately, they still will become resistant in time. It’s inevitable,” Joshi said.

The bacteria, called Clostridioides difficile or C. diff., cause almost a half million infections every year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The infection, which is spread by fecal to oral transmission, causes severe diarrhea, and can lead to intestinal inflammation and kidney failure. Those most at risk are people who have been given strong antibiotics, as well as those with long hospital stays, or those living in long-term care facilities like the elderly.

That means that keeping these facilities clean is incredibly important. But new research, published Friday (7/12/19)  in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, shows how difficult that can be.

In lab studies, researchers found that C. diff spread easily from disposable gowns often employed in surgery or infection control to stainless steel and vinyl surfaces.

These bugs evolve. These bugs like to stay one step ahead. And even though we’re using disinfectants and antibiotics appropriately, they still will become resistant in time. It’s inevitable.

What’s more, the bacteria didn’t die when the researchers tried to kill them with concentrated chlorine disinfectant.

“Even if we applied 1,000 parts per million of chlorine, it would allow spores to survive in the gowns,” Joshi told NBC News.

It’s possible that increasing the amount of chlorine might kill the spores, but if the spores are indeed becoming resistant to the disinfectant, it will only be a matter of time before the stronger concentrations can’t kill them.

“These bugs evolve. These bugs like to stay one step ahead. And even though we’re using disinfectants and antibiotics appropriately, they still will become resistant in time. It’s inevitable,” Joshi said.

C. diff infections can occur when a patient is given broad spectrum antibiotics to tackle another infection.

If the bacteria aren’t killed, hospital patients or people in nursing homes can become infected when they come into contact with contaminated surfaces, such as a bedside food tray.

But if traditional disinfectants are ineffective, as the new research suggests, what works?

One option is UV light, which could be useful in killing the bacteria. However, it can be challenging to make sure all surfaces are fully exposed to the light. At this point, Joshi said, highly concentrated bleach appears to be the best option.

For those who care for patients with compromised immune systems at home, the C. Diff Foundation says alcohol-based hand sanitizers are ineffective against the bacteria.

On its website, the group recommends using a cleaning solution of one cup bleach to nine cups of water, and leaving the mixture on surfaces for a minimum of 10 minutes. (Basic & Generic, not EPA registered product).

Meanwhile, if C. diff spores can survive on gowns and other surfaces, it is likely also the case that they can live on doctor’s coats and scrubs worn by hospital personnel all day.  (C Diff Foundation agrees)

“That’s a real infection control hazard, because these spores can stick to fibers. We’ve proven that in this paper,” Joshi said.

Erika Edwards

Erika Edwards is the health and medical news writer/reporter for NBC News and Today.

 

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

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/dangerous-bacteria-can-survive-disinfectant-putting-patients-risk-n1029231

 

 

Researchers Find Sulfated glycosaminoglycans and Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor Contribute To Clostridioides difficile Toxin A Cell Entry

 

Abstract

Clostridium difficile toxin A (TcdA) is a major exotoxin contributing to disruption of the colonic epithelium during C. difficile infection. TcdA contains a carbohydrate-binding combined repetitive oligopeptides (CROPs) domain that mediates its attachment to cell surfaces, but recent data suggest the existence of CROPs-independent receptors. Here, we carried out genome-wide clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9)-mediated screens using a truncated TcdA lacking the CROPs, and identified sulfated glycosaminoglycans (sGAGs) and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) as host factors contributing to binding and entry of TcdA. TcdA recognizes the sulfation group in sGAGs. Blocking sulfation and glycosaminoglycan synthesis reduces TcdA binding and entry into cells. Binding of TcdA to the colonic epithelium can be reduced by surfen, a small molecule that masks sGAGs, by GM-1111, a sulfated heparan sulfate analogue, and by sulfated cyclodextrin, a sulfated small molecule. Cells lacking LDLR also show reduced sensitivity to TcdA, although binding between LDLR and TcdA are not detected, suggesting that LDLR may facilitate endocytosis of TcdA. Finally, GM-1111 reduces TcdA-induced fluid accumulation and tissue damage in the colon in a mouse model in which TcdA is injected into the caecum. These data demonstrate in vivo and pathological relevance of TcdA-sGAGs interactions, and reveal a potential therapeutic approach of protecting colonic tissues by blocking these interactions.

To view abstract in its entirety please click on the following link to be redirected:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31160825?dopt=Abstract&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Patients Diagnosed With C. difficile Infection (CDI) Have Higher Readmission Rates

Elijah Verheyen, MD'Correspondence information about the author MD Elijah Verheyen

,

Vijay Dalapathi, MD

,

Shilpkumar Arora, MD

,

Kalpesh Patel, MD

,

Pavan Kumar Mankal, MD

,

Varun Kumar, MD

,

Edward Lung, MD

,

Donald P. Kotler, MD

,

Ari Grinspan, MD

Highlights

  • One in five patients admitted with C. difficile is readmitted within 30 days.
  • Recurrent C difficile is the leading cause of readmission.
  • Female sex, renal disease, and anemia increase C difficile readmission risk.
  • Discharge home, as opposed to facility, increases C difficile readmission risk.

Background

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a leading cause of community-onset and healthcare–associated infection, with high recurrence rates, and associated high morbidity and mortality. We report national rates, leading causes, and predictors of hospital readmission for CDI.

Methods

Retrospective study of data from the 2013 Nationwide Readmissions Database of patients with a primary diagnosis of CDI and re-hospitalization within 30-days. A multivariate regression model was used to identify predictors of readmission.

Results

Of 38,409 patients admitted with a primary diagnosis of CDI, 21% were readmitted within 30-days, and 27% of those patients were readmitted with a primary diagnosis of CDI. Infections accounted for 47% of all readmissions. Female sex, anemia/coagulation defects, renal failure/electrolyte abnormalities and discharge to home (versus facility) were 12%, 13%, 15%, 36%, respectively, more likely to be readmitted with CDI.

Conclusions

We found that 1-in-5 patients hospitalized with CDI were readmitted to the hospital within 30-days. Infection comprised nearly half of these readmissions, with CDI being the most common etiology.

Predictors of readmission with CDI include female sex, history of renal failure/electrolyte imbalances, anemia/coagulation defects, and being discharged home. CDI is associated with a high readmission risk, with evidence of several predictive risks for readmission.

SOURCEhttps://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(19)30026-4/fulltext?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Ribotypes and Prevalence of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) Hypervirulent Strain: NAP1/B1/027

The Hypervirulent Strain of Clostridium Difficile: NAP1/B1/027

– A Brief Overview



Abstract

Clostridium difficile is a gram-positive bacterium notorious for causing epidemic diarrhea globally with a significant health burden. The pathogen is clinically challenging with increasing antibiotic resistance and recurrence rate. We provide here an in-depth review of one particular strain/ribotype 027, commonly known as NAP1/B1/027 or North American pulsed-field gel electrophoresis type 1, restriction endonuclease analysis type B1, polymerase chain reaction ribotype 027, which has shown a much higher recurrence rate than other strains.

Introduction & Background

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a gram-positive, anaerobic, motile, spore-forming, rod-shaped bacteria [1-2]. It has been isolated from almost all mammals, including pigs, cows, horses, elephants, and Kodiak bears, as well as in poultry and ostriches. It has also been found in the soil and feces of humans and animals. It is transmitted from person to person by the fecal-oral route. The C. diff isolates found in animals are similar to the ones found in humans, but according to Hensgens et al., this similarity does not mean that interspecies transmission occurs. However, immunocompromised people are still at risk for interspecies transmission [1]. Its pathogenicity is dependent on the two toxins that it produces: enterotoxin A (Toxin A or TcdA) and cytotoxin B (Toxin B or TcdB). Enterotoxin damages the actin in target cells which leads to neutrophil infiltration, inflammation, and necrosis of epithelial cells. Cytotoxin B has been shown to damage tight junctions of epithelial cells, which increases vascular permeability and causes hemorrhage [2-3]. These toxins form the basis of stool analysis when diagnosing people with the suspected infection. Despite all the virulence characters described, C. diff is a poor competitor against other gut flora in the human colon. In a healthy colon, this pathogen is not in sufficient quantity to produce a clinically significant disease. Risk factors that disrupt this balance include antibiotics exposure, health care environment, acid suppressants, and elemental diet. The bacterium can cause severe watery diarrhea that can progress to pseudomembranous colitis [3-8]. It has been named as one of the three microorganisms with an ‘urgent’ threat level by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based on its public health impact in the United States (US) with an estimated $1.5 billion US in annual health care expenditures [8]. Patients who have more than three episodes of unexplained and new onset unformed stools in 24 hours should be referred for testing for a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Also, patients with risk factors described previously should undergo testing for this pathogen [9]. The ribotype 027 strain of C. diff is particularly noteworthy as contradicting evidence in the literature is present regarding the disease severity it causes. We provide here a brief overview of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and treatment of this particular strain.

Review

Ribotypes and prevalence of Clostridium difficile (C. diff)

Clostridium difficile can be characterized according to its ribotyping which is performed using the polymerase chain reaction. Several different ribotypes have been associated with CDI. The ribotypes 001, 002, 014, 046, 078, 126, and 140 have been found to be prevalent in the Middle East [10-12]. In Asia, ribotypes 001, 002, 014, 017, and 018 are more prevalent [13-15]. The predominant strains in Europe and North America include ribotypes 001, 014, 020, 027, and 078 [6]. The ribotype 027 (also referred to as NAP1/B1/027) has emerged in the last decade. Studies have underlined antimicrobial resistance as one of the causes of its epidemic outbreaks. Capillary electrophoresis (CE) ribotyping is used as the standard for characterization of C. diff isolates. This method relies on the intergeneric region variability between 16S and 23S ribosomal deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) [16]. Ribotype 027 was found to have reduced susceptibility to metronidazole, rifampicin, moxifloxacin, clindamycin, imipenem, and chloramphenicol [17-18]. It is clinically and financially concerning as it leads to severe disease presentation, as well as antimicrobial resistance with high morbidity and mortality rates as compared to other strains [19]. Strains, such as ribotype 027 (especially its spores), spread more easily within the hospital because they can resist the hospital environment, cleaning, and disinfectants [1]. An observational study conducted on patients admitted with diarrhea in a Veteran Affairs Medical Center showed that around 22% of the patients were positive for the NAP1/B1/027 strain out of all the people who tested positive for CDI. Further, a reduction in the rate of diarrhea caused by the NAP1/B1/027 strain was observed with a prevalence of 16.9% in 2016, down from 26.2% in 2013. An increase in the level of awareness and education was thought to be the reason for this decline [20]. The prevalence of this strain in North America is reportedly around 22% – 36%. Ribotype 027 was identified as the most prevalent strain causing CDI with recent outbreaks in North America [20-22]. The prevalence of this strain was shown to be 48% in hospitals in Poland with an outbreak of CDI during September 2011 to August 2013 [21].

NAP1/B1/027 strain

Toxigenicity and Pathogenesis

The North American pulsed-field gel electrophoresis type 1, restriction endonuclease analysis type B1, polymerase chain reaction ribotype 027 (NAP1/B1/027) strain has been shown to contain a gene locus, CdtLoc, that encodes for CD196 ADP-ribosyltransferase (CDT) or binary toxin. The bacterium also produces Toxin A and Toxin B, similar to non-027 ribotypes, through the PaLoc gene locus [23-24]. CDT was first isolated by Popoff et al. [25]. The toxin comprises two separate toxin components: CDTa and CDTb. CDTa, which is an ADP-ribosyltransferase enzyme, modifies actin which results in depolymerization and destruction of the actin cytoskeleton in the gut. CDTb binds to gut cells and increases uptake of CDTa. The destruction caused by CDT favors adherence of bacteria and increased uptake of Toxin A and Toxin B [26].

In addition to the toxins, this strain (along with few others) carries a base pair frameshift deletion at nucleotide 117 of the TcdC gene, which is a negative regulator of Toxins A and B. A mutation in this gene thus causes hyperexpression of toxins by this particular strain. Warny et al. showed that NAP1/B1/027 produces Toxin A approximately 16 times and Toxin B approximately 23 times more than the control strains [27]. One study also proposed that increased sporulation by this strain may also be associated with the increased spread of CDI [28]. The virulent factors associated with NAP1/B1/027 strain have been summarized in Table 1.

Virulent factor Mechanism
1. Toxin A (Enterotoxin A or TcdA) Damages the actin in target cells which leads to neutrophil infiltration, inflammation, and necrosis of epithelial cells [24].
2. Toxin B (Cytotoxin B or TcdB) Damages tight junctions of epithelial cells, which increases vascular permeability and causes hemorrhage [24].
3. CDTa toxin Modification of actin with ADP-ribosylation that results in actin depolymerization and destruction of the cytoskeleton that assists in adherence of bacteria to gut epithelial cells [25-26].
4. CDTb toxin Facilitates uptake of CDTa toxin into the gut epithelial lining [25-26].
5. Hypersporulation Increases reproduction and spread of bacteria [28].
6. TcdC gene mutation (18-bp deletion) Increases the production of Toxin A and Toxin B by down-regulation of feedback inhibitor involved in suppressing toxin production [27].

Previous studies have shown contradicting evidence regarding the severity of disease caused by this particular strain. A recent retrospective analysis by Bauer et al. concluded that NAP1/B1/027 was associated with a decreased odds of severe disease (odds ratio (OR): 0.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.13 – 0.93) and did not increase in-hospital mortality (OR: 1.02, 95% CI 0.53 – 1.96) or recurrence rate (OR: 1.16, 95% CI 0.36 – 3.77) [23]. Several other studies conducted (including cross-sectional, case-control, and cohort studies) did not show any worse outcomes compared to other strains [29-31]. Sirad et al. demonstrated that although NAP1/B1/027 strain may produce more toxins compared to other strains, they produced fewer spores and were not always associated with severe disease [32]. On the contrary, Rao et al. conducted a cohort study and concluded that ribotype 027 was associated with severe CDI (OR: 1.73, 95% CI 1.03 – 2.89; p = 0.037) and increased mortality (OR: 2.02, 95% CI 1.19 – 3.43; p = 0.009) compared to other ribotypes [24]. Another study showed similar results with the North American pulsed-field gel electrophoresis type 1 (NAP1) strain. Multivariate regression analysis exhibited an increase in the severity of CDI with the NAP1 strain (OR: 1.66, 95% CI: 1.90 – 2.54) and increased mortality (OR: 2.12, 95% CI: 1.22 – 3.68) [33]. One study from Quebec labeled this strain to be responsible for severe diseases twice as frequently as compared to other strains [34].

The basis for these contradictory findings can be explained by several reasons, including study design, study population, sample size, the method of detection for C. diff, study setting, and unmeasured confounders. Given these contradictory results, healthcare providers should focus on treating this infection based on their clinical judgment and markers of severe infection, including the number of diarrheal episodes, signs of dehydration, creatinine level, albumin level, white blood cell count, associated co-morbidities, immunocompromised state, etc.

Prevention

Preventive strategies employed for NAP1/B1/027 strain are similar to strategies taken for other strains. These include barrier methods (gloves and gown while examining patient), use of disposable equipment, handwashing with soap and water, disinfecting the environment, and antimicrobial stewardship [35]. Further vaccines are being developed targeting the toxins, including TcdA and TcdB, for simultaneous prevention and treatment of CDI. Actoxumab and bezlotoxumab, which are monoclonal antibodies against TcdA and TcdB, are being investigated for this purpose. A combined Phase III trial (MODIFY I (NCT01241552) and MODIFY II (NCT01513239)) showed benefit from bezlotoxumab, but the combination of actoxumab and bezlotoxumab did not yield any further benefit [36]. Bezlotoxumab has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in October 2016 and is to be used in patients more than 18 years of age, who are at high risk of recurrence from CDI, and are receiving antibiotics [37]. A novel tetravalent vaccine against TcdA, TcdB, CDTa, and CDTb has been proposed by Secore et al. using a hamster model which has shown promising results [38].

A novel drug, SYN-004 (ribaxamase), is under investigation that has shown promising results for preventing CDI. This drug, which is a β-lactamase, is excreted into the gut and degrades the excess antibiotic that prevents disruption of normal gut flora, ultimately preventing CDI [39]. The Phase IIa clinical trial of this drug showed that ribaxamase at a dose of 150 mg every six hours results in an undetectable concentration of ceftriaxone in the intestine which can potentially decrease the likelihood of a C. diff infection, given the less probability of disruption of the gut bacteria.

Resistance to Antibiotics and Treatment

Cases of NAP1/B1/027 reported in Panama were found to be highly resistant to clindamycin, moxifloxacin, levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and rifampin but were susceptible to metronidazole and vancomycin [40]. Susceptibility of ribotype 027 and non-027 ribotypes to different antibiotics was tested in a study in Canada. Ribotype 027 showed a resistance of 92.2% to moxifloxacin compared to 11.2% for other strains. Similarly, 78.2% of ribotype 027 strains were resistant to ceftriaxone compared to 15.7% of other strains. Ribotype 027 demonstrated a greater than four-fold higher minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) to metronidazole (4 vs. 1 μg/ml) and two-fold higher MIC for fidaxomicin (1 vs. 2 μg/ml). For clindamycin and vancomycin, the resistance was similar in both groups [41].

Resistance to erythromycin is linked to mutations in the ribosomal methylase genes, whereas resistance to fluoroquinolones is due to a mutation in DNA gyrase. Resistance to rifamycin and fidaxomicin is attributed to ribonucleic acid (RNA) polymerase methylation. The presence of phenicol and lincosamide genes has been shown to cause resistance to linezolid. A study conducted in hospitals of Mexico showed some isolates of ribotype 027 to have reduced susceptibility to fidaxomicin despite the unavailability of this drug in Mexico and the patients being unexposed to it [42]. Antibiotics form the basis of treatment for the NAP1/B1/027 strain. Currently, no specific Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines are available to guide treatment for this particular strain, and hence, the treatment is similar to a non-NAP1/B1/027 strain [9]. Based on the current guidelines for treating CDI overall, we propose the following table for treating infection caused by the NAP1/B1/027 strain (Table 2).

First line treatment Alternative treatment
Initial non-severe infection Oral vancomycin, 125 mg four times daily for 10 days Fidaxomicin, 200 mg twice daily for 10 days; If neither is available, then use metronidazole, 500 mg three times daily for 10 days
First non-severe recurrence Repeat oral vancomycin, 125 mg four times daily for 10 days Fidaxomicin, 200 mg twice daily for 10 days
Second non-severe recurrence Oral vancomycin taper as follow: 125 mg four times daily for seven to 14 days, 125 mg twice daily for seven days, 125 mg twice once daily for seven days, 125 mg once every other day for seven days, 125 mg once every three days for 14 days Fidaxomicin, 200 mg orally twice daily for 10 days, or a fecal microbiota transplant
Subsequent non-severe recurrence Fecal microbiota transplant Tapering oral vancomycin with probiotics, IVIG, fidaxomicin
Severe disease Oral vancomycin, 125 mg four times daily, increase to 500 mg four times daily if no improvement noted in 24-48 hours or associated complications, including renal failure, ileus, etc. Fidaxomicin if the patient cannot tolerate oral vancomycin for any reason
Ileus Add IV metronidazole, 500 mg every eight hours, to oral vancomycin or fidaxomicin therapy; consider general surgery consult as needed Intracolonic vancomycin, IVIG

This strain has not shown any resistance to fidaxomicin, but there has been some contradicting evidence to this. A case report was published in 2017 in which the NAP1 C. diff infection, resistant to treatment with fidaxomicin and fecal transplants, was effectively treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) [43]. Given the emerging threat of antibiotic resistance, increasing awareness, controlling infections, and antimicrobial stewardship can be effective measures to reduce this threat [17].

Currently, several novel antibiotics are under investigation which have gone through various randomized controlled trials for CDI treatment. Ridinilazole and cadazolid have completed Phase II trials, while surotomycin has completed two Phase III trials which have shown promising results [44-47].

Conclusions

The data regarding the NAP1/B1/027 strain is inconclusive with ongoing debates whether this particular strain is associated with severe disease. Further research, including meta-analyses, are needed to solve this enigma. Clinicians should guide treatment based on their judgment and objective evidence of disease severity.


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Researchers Present New Data that Brief NSAIDs Exposure Prior to a C.difficile Infection (CDI) Increases the Severity of the Infectious Colitis

ABSTRACT

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a major public health threat worldwide. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with enhanced susceptibility to and severity of CDI; however, the mechanisms driving this phenomenon have not been elucidated. NSAIDs alter prostaglandin (PG) metabolism by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes. Here, we found that treatment with the NSAID indomethacin prior to infection altered the microbiota and dramatically increased mortality and the intestinal pathology associated with CDI in mice. We demonstrated that in C. difficile-infected animals, indomethacin treatment led to PG deregulation, an altered proinflammatory transcriptional and protein profile, and perturbed epithelial cell junctions. These effects were paralleled by increased recruitment of intestinal neutrophils and CD4+ cells and also by a perturbation of the gut microbiota. Together, these data implicate NSAIDs in the disruption of protective COX-mediated PG production during CDI, resulting in altered epithelial integrity and associated immune responses.

IMPORTANCE Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a spore-forming anaerobic bacterium and leading cause of antibiotic-associated colitis. Epidemiological data suggest that use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increases the risk for CDI in humans, a potentially important observation given the widespread use of NSAIDs. Prior studies in rodent models of CDI found that NSAID exposure following infection increases the severity of CDI, but mechanisms to explain this are lacking. Here we present new data from a mouse model of antibiotic-associated CDI suggesting that brief NSAID exposure prior to CDI increases the severity of the infectious colitis. These data shed new light on potential mechanisms linking NSAID use to worsened CDI, including drug-induced disturbances to the gut microbiome and colonic epithelial integrity. Studies were limited to a single NSAID (indomethacin), so future studies are needed to assess the generalizability of our findings and to establish a direct link to the human condition.

INTRODUCTION

Clostridium difficile is the most commonly reported nosocomial pathogen in the United States and an urgent public health threat worldwide (1). C. difficile infection (CDI) manifests as a spectrum of gastrointestinal disorders ranging from mild diarrhea to toxic megacolon and/or death, particularly in older adults (2). The primary risk factor for CDI is antibiotic treatment, which perturbs the resident gut microbiota and abolishes colonization resistance (3). However, factors other than antibiotic exposure increase the risk for CDI and the incidence of cases not associated with the use of antimicrobials has been on the rise (4). Defining mechanisms whereby nonantibiotic factors impact CDI pathogenesis promises to reveal actionable targets for preventing or treating this infection.

Recently, several previously unappreciated immune system, host, microbiota, and dietary factors have emerged as modulators of CDI severity and risk. The food additive trehalose, for example, was recently shown to increase C. difficile virulence in mice, and the widespread adoption of trehalose in food products was implicated in the emergence of hypervirulent strains of C. difficile (5). Similarly, excess dietary zinc had a profound impact on severity of C. difficile disease in mice, and high levels of zinc altered the gut microbiota and increased susceptibility to CDI (6). Importantly, there is a growing body of evidence of the essential role of the innate immune response and inflammation in both protection against and pathology of CDI (79). Mounting a proper and robust inflammatory response is critical for successful clearance of C. difficile, and the immune response can be a key predictor of prognosis (3, 10). In this context, specific immune mediators can facilitate both protective and pathogenic responses through the activity of molecules such as interleukin-23 (IL-23) and IL-22, and an excessive and dysregulated immune response is believed to be one of the main factors behind postinfection complications.

Epidemiological data have established an association between the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and CDI (11). Muñoz-Miralles and colleagues demonstrated that the NSAID indomethacin (Indo) significantly increased the severity of CDI in antibiotic-treated mice when the NSAID was applied following inoculation and throughout the infection (12), and indomethacin exposure is associated with alterations in the structure of the intestinal microbiota (13, 14). NSAIDs are among the most highly prescribed and most widely consumed drugs in the United States (15), particularly among older adults (16), and have been implicated in causing spontaneous colitis in humans (17, 18). They act by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymatic activity, which prevents the generation of prostaglandins (PGs) and alters the outcome of subsequent inflammatory events. Prostaglandins, especially PGE2, are important lipid mediators that are highly abundant at sites of inflammation and infection and that support gastrointestinal homeostasis and epithelial cell (EC) health (19). NSAID use has been associated with shifts in the gut microbiota, in both rodents and humans (2023), but these shifts have not been explored in the context of CDI.

In this report, we deployed a mouse model of antibiotic-associated CDI to examine the impact of exposure to indomethacin prior to infection with C. difficile on disease severity, immune response, intestinal epithelial integrity, and the gut microbiota. These investigations revealed that even a brief exposure to an NSAID prior to C. difficile inoculation dramatically increased CDI severity, reduced survival, and increased pathological evidence of disease. Inhibition of PG biosynthesis by indomethacin altered the cytokine response and immune cell recruitment following CDI, enhancing intestinal tissue histopathology and allowing partial systemic bacterial dissemination by dismantling intestinal epithelial tight junctions (TJs). Additionally, indomethacin treatment alone significantly perturbed the structure of the gut microbiota. These findings support epidemiological data linking NSAID use and CDI and caution against the overuse of NSAIDs in patients at high risk for C. difficile, such as older adults.

RESULTS

Indomethacin worsens C. difficile Infection in Mice and Increases Mortality.To determine the extent to which preexposure to NSAIDs influences the natural course of CDI, mice were treated with indomethacin for 2 days prior to inoculation with C. difficile (Fig. 1A). We infected C57BL/6 female mice with 1 × 104 spores of C. difficile NAP1/BI/027 strain M7404 following 5 days of pretreatment with a broad-spectrum antibiotic, cefoperazone (Fig. 1A). This brief indomethacin treatment prior to CDI dramatically decreased cecum size and increased the mortality rate from 20% to 80% (Fig. 1C) but did not significantly impact weight loss (Fig. 1D). Mice pretreated with indomethacin and infected with C. difficile also displayed histopathological evidence of more-severe cecal tissue damage compared to mice infected with C. difficile that were not exposed to the drug (Fig. 1E). Indomethacin-exposed and infected mice exhibited no change in the burden of C. difficile in the cecum (Fig. 1F), but their livers harbored significantly greater loads of mixed aerobic and anaerobic bacteria (Fig. 1G), suggesting that indomethacin pretreatment compromised intestinal barrier function during CDI and fostered microbiota translocation to the liver.

FIG 1

Indomethacin worsens the effects of C. difficile infection in mice. (A) C57BL/6 mice were treated with cefoperazone for 5 days followed by 2 days of recovery and then challenged by gavage with 1 × 104 spores of NAP1 strain M7404. Animals received 2 doses of 10 mg/kg of body weight of indomethacin by gavage daily as indicated by the top arrows. (B) Representative picture illustrating the macroscopic effects of the different treatments in the cecum. Indo, indomethacin; Abx, antibiotic; C. diff, C. difficile. (C to E) Mice were monitored for survival (Kaplan-Meier curve) (C), weight loss (D), and histopathologic severity of colitis (E) (n = 13 to 15/group). (F and G) C. difficile bacterial burden was evaluated in the ceca of 12 mice/group (F) and total aerobic bacterial burden plus anaerobic bacterial burden in the liver of 5 mice/group (G) also at day 3 after infection, with the discontinuous line indicating the limit of detection. Path., pathology. **, P < 0.01 (by log rank [Mantel-Cox] test for survival [panel C] and by unpaired t test for weights [panel D]); *, P < 0.05 (1-way analysis of variance [ANOVA] test for histopathological scores [panel E]); **, P < 0.01 (Wilcoxon test with Bonferroni correction [panel G]). I, indomethacin; A, antibiotic.

Indomethacin alters the proportions of neutrophils and CD4+ T cells in mucosal-associated tissues during C. difficile infection…………………………………

 

Damian Maseda, Joseph P. Zackular, Bruno Trindade, Leslie Kirk, Jennifer Lising Roxas, Lisa M. Rogers, Mary K. Washington, Liping Du, Tatsuki Koyama, V. K. Viswanathan, Gayatri Vedantam, Patrick D. Schloss, Leslie J. Crofford, Eric P. Skaar, David M. Aronoff
Jimmy D. Ballard, Editor

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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

 

Veteran Affairs Patients with Recurrent C.difficile Infections Participate In Study

 

 

 

 

Though recurrent Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) are common and pose a major clinical concern, data are lacking regarding mortality among patients who survive their initial CDI and have subsequent recurrences. Risk factors for mortality in patients with recurrent CDI are largely unknown.

Methods

Veterans Affairs patients with a first CDI (positive C. difficile toxin(s) stool sample and ≥ 2 days CDI treatment) were included (2010–2014). Subsequent recurrences were defined as additional CDI episodes ≥ 14 days after the stool test date and within 30 days of end of treatment. A matched (1:4) case-control analysis was conducted using multivariable conditional logistic regression to identify predictors of all-cause mortality within 30 days of the first recurrence.

Results

Crude 30-day all-cause mortality rates were 10.6% for the initial CDI episode, 8.3% for first recurrence, 4.2% for second recurrence, and 5.9% for third recurrence. Among 110 cases and 440 controls six predictors of mortality were identified: use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs, odds ratio [OR] 3.86, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.14–6.96), any antibiotic (OR 3.33, 95% CI 1.79–6.17), respiratory failure (OR 8.26, 95% CI 1.71–39.92), congitive dysfunction (OR 2.41, 95% CI 1.02–5.72), nutrition deficiency (OR 2.91, 95% CI 1.37–6.21), and age (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.01–1.07).

Conclusion

In our national cohort of Veterans, crude mortality decreased by 44% from the initial episode to the third recurrence. Treatment with antibiotics, PPIs, and underlying co-morbidities were important predictors of mortality in recurrent CDI. Our study assists healthcare providers in identifying patients at high risk of death after CDI recurrence.

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