Clostridium difficile is a Gram positive bacterium found in both human and animal guts and in the environment. Although it can be present in humans without causing disease, the disruption of the natural gut microbiota by antibiotic treatment can allow C. difficile to overgrow.
High levels of the bacterium can lead to toxin production and the development of C. difficile infection CDI; as it is commonly acquired in hospitals, CDI can produce severe infections and mortality in already weakened patients.C. difficile is still treatable by a limited number of antibiotics but the organism is well known for its ability to take up antibiotic resistances from other organisms.
A number of novel approaches are being investigated not only for therapy in the patient but also for elimination and detection of organisms in hospital or community environments and within the food chain.
Read the full blog article on IFR’s Gut Health and Food Safety Programme Blog.