Clostridium difficile and the microbiota

J Clin Invest. 2014 Oct;124(10):4182-9. doi: 10.1172/JCI72336. Epub 2014 Jul 18.


Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the leading health care-associated illness. Both human and animal models have demonstrated the importance of the gut microbiota's capability of providing colonization resistance against C. difficile. Risk factors for disease development include antibiotic use, which disrupts the gut microbiota, leading to the loss of colonization resistance and subsequent CDI. Identification of the specific microbes capable of restoring this function remains elusive. Future studies directed at how microbial communities influence the metabolic environment may help elucidate the role of the microbiota in disease development. These findings will improve current biotherapeutics for patients with CDI, particularly those with recurrent disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Clostridioides difficile / physiology*
  • Clostridium Infections / microbiology*
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Mice
  • Microbiota*
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Spores, Bacterial / metabolism