C. difficile bacterium grows stronger by cooperating with Enterococcus, other gut microbes

November 17, 2022

2 minute read

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The bacterium Clostridioides hard tends to “cooperate” with microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract, such as the pathogen Eenterococcuswhich may help the bacteria thrive, according to a study published in Nature.

“Personally, I have always been fascinated by It’s hard as a pathogen, Joseph P. Zackular, PhD, study author and assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Healio told Healio. “It’s obviously a very big public health problem, causes a lot of disease in children and adults, and it’s a big problem in elderly patients, so it’s a big challenge.”


Zackular cited his background in microbial ecology as a driving factor in his interest in how It’s hard reacts in different intestinal tracts.

“I’ve always been interested in microbial communities and how they interact with each other,” said Zackular, who is also co-director of the microbial archive and cryocollection at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as part of of the PennCHOP Microbiome program.

“Everyone’s microbiome is very different. … We don’t understand why someone could get a serious illness and possibly die, and someone else could get a milder illness,” Zackular said. “We postulated that this could be the ecosystem context by which C difference. is invasive that could play a role during infection, and that’s what prompted us to dive into this question.

In their study, Zackular and colleagues examined stool samples from 54 pediatric patients with It’s hard infections.

“We searched for organisms using microbiome scans that would be associated with this infection,” Zackular said. “And one of the things we found was this group of opportunistic, pathogenic bacteria, the Enterococcus gender was associated with C difference. infection, which had already been demonstrated in the literature. Using patient microbiome analysis, we found this very strong signature of the Enterococcus and we wanted to know, does it matter? »

After examining this in the lab, the researchers found that Enterococcus increased the amount of toxin that It’s hard produced and performed metabolic modeling to find out how the two organisms communicated.

“What we found with all of these analyzes is that Enterococcus is remodeling C difference. metabolism and supply amino acids to C difference.and also by limiting other metabolic signals that allow C difference. to be more pathogenic, but also fitter,” Zackular said. “He offers C difference. with nutrients, but also deprived it of other signals that fuel it to be both fit and pathogenic.

Zackular said they were surprised at the ability of Enterococcus to “reshape the gut during infection”.

“You kind of take it for granted that the [gut’s] The ecosystem is still the same, but what we find is that the dominance of this opportunistic pathogen has kind of totally reshaped that environment, and that can be felt by the pathogen and kind of adjust its behavior and its pathogenesis,” Zackular said.

“It’s two pathogens cooperating in the gut, and it’s incredibly fascinating,” he added. “It brings up a whole new way of thinking about It’s hard.”


A CHOP-led study shows that antibiotic-resistant microbes in the gut It’s hard more contagious. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/971337? . Published November 16, 2022. Accessed November 17, 2022.

Smith AB, et al. NOTnature. 2022;doi:10.1038/s41586-022-05438-x.

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