Binary toxin producing Clostridium difficile strains

Anaerobe. 2003 Dec;9(6):289-94. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2003.09.002.


Clostridium difficile produces three toxins, TcdA, TcdB and CDT. TcdA and TcdB are single-stranded molecules acting as glucosyltransferases specific for small GTPases. CDT is an actin specific ADP-ribosylating binary toxin characteristically composed of two independent components, enzymatic CDTa (48 kDa) and binding CDTb (99 kDa). The cdtA and cdtB genes were sequenced in two CDT-positive strains of C. difficile (CD 196 and 8864) and at least two CDT-negative strains with truncated form of binary toxin genes are known (VPI 10463 and C. difficile genome strain 630). The prevalence of binary toxin producing strains is estimated to be from 1.6% to 5.5%, although a much higher proportion has been reported in some studies. The role of the binary toxin as an additional virulence factor is discussed.