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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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J Bacteriol 2018 Jul 25;200(16):e00218-18

Updates to Clostridium difficile Spore Germination.

Kochan TJ, Foley MH, Shoshiev MS, Somers MJ, Carlson PE, Hanna PC


Germination of Clostridium difficile spores is a crucial early requirement for colonization of the gastrointestinal tract. Likewise, C. difficile cannot cause disease pathologies unless their spores germinate into metabolically active, toxin-producing cells. Recent advances in our understanding of C. difficile spore germination mechanisms indicate that this process is both complex and unique. This review defines unique aspects of the germination pathways of C. difficile and compares them to two other well-studied organisms, Bacillus anthracis and Clostridium perfringensC. difficile germination is unique as it does not contain any orthologs of the traditional gerA-type germinant receptor complexes and it is the only known spore-former to require bile salts in order to germinate. While recent advances describing C. difficile germination mechanisms have been made on several fronts, major gaps in our understanding of C. difficile germination signaling remain. This review provides an updated, in-depth summary of advances in C. difficile germination, potential avenues for the development of therapeutics, and discusses the major discrepancies between current models of germination and areas of ongoing investigation.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #29760211 DOI: 10.1128/JB.00218-18
PubMed Central ID: #PMC6060349
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2018-04-22 Entry Last Modified: 2018-08-12