Interaction between the intestinal microbiota and host in Clostridium difficile colonization resistance

Trends Microbiol. 2012 Jul;20(7):313-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2012.04.001. Epub 2012 May 15.


Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has become one of the most prevalent and costly nosocomial infections. In spite of the importance of CDI, our knowledge of the pathogenesis of this infection is still rudimentary. Although previous use of antibiotics is generally considered to be the sine qua non of CDI, the mechanisms by which antibiotics render the host susceptible to C. difficile are not well defined. In this review, we will explore what is known about how the indigenous microbiota acts in concert with the host to prevent colonization and virulence of C. difficile and how antibiotic administration disturbs host-microbiota homeostasis, leading to CDI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clostridioides difficile / pathogenicity*
  • Clostridium Infections / chemically induced*
  • Clostridium Infections / microbiology
  • Cross Infection / chemically induced
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Metagenome / drug effects*
  • Microbial Interactions*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents