Researchers focus on menacing ‘superbug,’ hoping to identify what makes patients susceptible

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This photo shows Clostridium difficile colonies after growing on a blood agar plate for 48 hours. Expanded 4.8XC difficile, an anaerobic gram-positive bacillus, is the most frequently identified cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD). It accounts for about 15-25% of all episodes of AAD. Credit: CDC

Scientists around the world have been serious about understanding the increasingly toxic superbug Clostridium difficile. Designated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the five most urgent threats to the US medical system, highly contagious nosocomial pathogens cause more than 500,000 infections and 29,000 deaths each year. Causes total social costs to exceed $ 5 billion.

Biologists at Texas A & M University and Baylor Medical College are new, funded by the National Institutes of Health, with the goal of addressing the source of infection in the hope of identifying the cause of the patient’s susceptibility to infection. We cooperated in systems biology research. in the first place.

In a previous study, C.Difficile infections have been shown to be strongly correlated with high-volume secondary infections Bile acid Toxic to C. difficile in laboratory settings.They are Small molecule It is produced by a healthy gut flora from primary bile acids synthesized in the liver.

Joseph Sorg, a Texas A & M biologist and 2020 Prime Minister’s EDGES Fellow, says scientists have long considered these small molecules as important guardians to prevent C. difficile infections. This study was first featured in a paper published in the journal earlier this fall by Sorg Laboratory graduate student Andrea Martinez Aguirre. PLOS pathogen With the help of a group of Tor Savidge at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Many ongoing efforts are to develop probiotic treatment options for patients infected with C. diff and focus on the recovery of secondary bile acids in patients,” Sorg said. I am saying. “Our findings show that these treatments should be focused on instead. Microorganisms Consume important nutrients for the growth of Clostridium diff, secondary bile acids are red herring for protection. “

As the basis for their study, the team used sterile-derived mice at Baylor College of Medicine to colonize a single species of bacteria known to be involved in secondary bile. acid Generated and strongly correlated with the protected C. difficile environment. As an additional control, they selected mutant mouse strains that were bred in Texas A & M and purchased through the NIH Knockout Mouse Project, which further limits the secondary bile acid pool by the inability to synthesize major classes of bile acids. bottom.

“Surprisingly, mice colonized with these microorganisms (C. scindens, C. hiranonis, or C. leptum) were protected from C. diff disease but did not produce secondary bile acids. I see, “Sorg said.

Sorg joined the Texas A & M Department of Biology in 2010, from postdoctoral fellowship to physiology to pathogenicity. We have been working to unlock Difficile’s basic science. He received his PhD in Microbiology from the University of Chicago in 2006. The C. difficile genome was sequenced in the same year and has since emerged as one of the pioneers in C. difficile research.


Antibiotics C. by killing bacteria that alter bile acids. Pave the way for diff infections


For more information:
Andrea Martinez Aguirre et al, Bile Acid Independent Protection against Clostridium difficile Infection, PLOS pathogen (2021). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.ppat.1010015

Quote: Researchers are focusing on menacing “super bugs” in hopes of identifying the cause of susceptibility to patients (December 2, 2021). .html

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