Effect of arginine on toxin production by Clostridium difficile in defined medium

Microbiol Immunol. 1997;41(8):581-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1348-0421.1997.tb01895.x.


Twenty strains of Clostridium difficile were examined for the effect of arginine on toxin production in a defined medium. In three strains, the production of toxins A and B was greatly enhanced in the absence of arginine. These strains showed distinctively poorer growth in the absence of arginine in comparison with the remaining 17 strains, indicating that the presence of arginine is required for good growth among the three strains. From the present results, test strains were divided into two groups: a group in which arginine insufficiency caused distinctly poor growth and enhanced toxin production, and another group in which there was neither distinctly poor growth nor enhanced toxin production. The phenomenon is discussed in relation to the biosynthesis and catabolism of arginine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arginine / pharmacology*
  • Bacterial Toxins / biosynthesis*
  • Clostridium difficile / drug effects*
  • Clostridium difficile / growth & development
  • Clostridium difficile / metabolism
  • Culture Media


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Culture Media
  • Arginine