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Stalking a wily foe: Scientists figure out how C. difficile bacteria wreak havoc in guts

Study in mice could lead to better treatment and prevention for humans

Effect of C. difficile on Gut Lining Cells
The effect of C. difficile on the mouse gut: Left, 24 hours after exposure: Cells of colon lining are normal Center, 30 hours after exposure: C. difficile toxin has started to damage cells, triggering inflammation & fluid buildup Right, 36 hours after exposure: Inflamed cells burst & die. C. difficile spores leave colon via diarrhea & await next host.
Credit: Young laboratory,


In addition to Young, Schloss and Koenigsknecht, the study’s authors are , and . The research was funded by the grants U19AI090871, K01GM109236 and 5R01GM099514. It used the U-M Metabolomics Core, funded by NIH grant U24 DK097153. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the .

Dynamics and Establishment of Clostridium difficile Infection in the Murine Gastrointestinal Tract. Infection and Immunity, doi: 10.1128/IAI.02768-14, March 2015 vol. 83 no. 3 934-941

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