Research shows some people predisposed for recurrent C. difficile infection

May 21, 2012

University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers have found that some patients appear to be more predisposed for recurrent infection from the bacterium Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, and that it may advance to a more serious inflammatory condition in those individuals.

These findings are being presented via poster during , Monday, May 21, 2012, in San, Diego.

Mary Beth Yacyshyn, PhD, an adjunct assistant professor in division of , says researchers found that the C. diff surface layer proteins (SLP) produced a different set of proteins (cytokines) in samples from individuals with recurrent infection when compared to samples from individuals with an initial onset of the infection, indicating a more chronic , which is also seen in (IBD).

"Surface layer proteins of C. diff play a role in cell adhesion, the and the host's inflammatory response," Yacyshyn explains. "We wanted to see if purified SLP would induce immune responses in the samples from individuals who had their first documented episode of C. difficile and recurrent episodes."

Blood samples were taken from initial, recurrent and healthy patients and the (lymphocytes) were isolated and cultured for 48 hours with SLP from C. difficile.

Researchers found SLP stimulation produced a wide array of proteins, or cytokines, being secreted in all groups.

"However, patients with recurrent C. difficile infection produced a more inflammatory pattern of cytokines than did patients with an initial infection," she says. "We found that some levels of these cytokines were similar to those found in the comorbid case controls, suggesting that any patient hospitalized for an extended period may be exposed to C. difficile.

"Overall, we found that the cytokine response from recurrent patients is more indicative of a chronic inflammatory process, suggesting that the initial immune response may be crucial to clearing the infection. If, due to other underlying disease predispositions, genetics or current medications, a patient does not clear the infection, this may result in a chronic or systemic inflammatory response leading to continuous infection or re-infection."

Yacyshyn says this is the first step in many to target the C. diff infection at the cellular level for the best patient outcome.

"In knowing that these cells respond differently in different people, we may be able to tailor treatment and avoid the onset of a chronic condition," she says.

Explore further: Doctors identify patients at high risk of C. difficile

Related Stories

Doctors identify patients at high risk of C. difficile

April 1, 2009

Doctors have developed and validated a clinical prediction rule for recurrent Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection that was simple, reliable and accurate, and can be used to identify high-risk patients most likely ...

Recommended for you

New drug to fight fatal but neglected tropical disease

August 31, 2016

In a breakthrough for those infected by the parasites that cause sleeping sickness, a young Queensland researcher has identified a compound that kills the parasites in the lab without having any toxic effect on human cells.

Traces of Ebola virus linger longer than expected in semen

August 31, 2016

Initial data from a Liberian public health program show about 9 percent (38) of 429 male Ebola survivors had fragments of Ebola virus in their semen. Of those, 63 percent had semen samples that tested positive for Ebola fragments ...

Researchers discover a drug for a tropical disease

August 30, 2016

Researchers at the University of Georgia are working to find the fastest way possible to treat and cure human African trypanosomiasis, long referred to as sleeping sickness. By working to improve chemical entities already ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.