Adaptation strategies of Clostridioides difficile during host infection


The project of the Norddeutsches Zentrum für Mikrobielle Genomforschung (NZMG) is supported by the State of Lower Saxony from funds of the Niedersächisches Vorab from VolkswagenStiftung.

The intestinal bacterium Clostridioides difficile (formerly Clostridium difficile) causes life-threatening diseases, from diarrhea to severe inflammation of the intestine, which occur especially after antibiotic treatment. The C. difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) is one of the most dangerous hospital acquired diseases. The most severe manifestation is a toxic megacolon, a very painful enlargement of the intestine, which leads to several hundreds, if not thousand deaths per year in Germany.

Until recently, there was no coordinated research on this important pathogen in Germany. With the support of the federal states of Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a consortium for C. difficile research was founded in 2013. The consortium is very interdisciplinary and examines the role of bacterial adaptation mechanisms, the effect of toxins and the effect of the microbiome (the totality of all bacteria in the intestine) on C. difficile infections in different project areas. The aim is a basic understanding of the organism in its environment, which can be used to develop therapies and diagnostics of C. difficile infections.

In co-operation with the DSMZ our department addresses the project "Genome space and diversification of C. difficile and its coevolution with the human microbiome".

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