The prospect for vaccines to prevent Clostridium difficile infection

Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2015 Mar;29(1):145-62. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2014.11.013.


Clostridium difficile is a spore-forming anaerobic gram-positive organism that is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated nosocomial infectious diarrhea in the Western world. This article describes the evolving epidemiology of C difficile infection (CDI) in the twenty-first century, evaluates the importance of vaccines against the disease, and defines the roles of both innate and adaptive host immune responses in CDI. The effects of passive immunotherapy and active vaccination against CDI in both humans and animals are also discussed.

Keywords: Clostridium difficile; Infection; Passive immunotherapy; Vaccinations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / physiology
  • Bacterial Toxins / immunology
  • Bacterial Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Clostridium Infections / immunology
  • Clostridium Infections / microbiology
  • Clostridium Infections / prevention & control*
  • Clostridium difficile / immunology*
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology
  • Immunization, Passive / methods*
  • Intestinal Diseases / immunology
  • Intestinal Diseases / microbiology
  • Intestinal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Vaccination*


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Bacterial Vaccines