In 2017, we identified a Clostridium difficile strain HKCD4 that caused community-acquired fulminant colitis in a previously healthy child. Phylogenetically, it belonged to clade 2, sequence type 67 and was resistant to fluoroquinolone and tetracycline. The strain was pathogenicity locus and binary toxin positive. It has a mutation in the trehalose repressor treR leading to the L172I substitution that was previously reported in the epidemic ribotype 027 lineage. HKCD4 has a tcdB sequence that shared very high identities with 3 highly virulent reference strains. It has a CpG depleted genome that is characteristic of hypervirulent C. difficile. The emergence of ST67 lineage with molecular feature of hypervirulence in the community is concerning and emphasizes the need for full characterization of strains causing severe disease in patients without classical risk factors.
Keywords: Binary toxin; Clostridioides difficile; Hypervirulent; Pathogenicity locus; Trehalose repressor.
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