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J Infect Dis. 2010 Jul 15;202(2):282-90. doi: 10.1086/653484.

Transcriptional profiling of Clostridium difficile and Caco-2 cells during infection.

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Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.


Clostridium difficile is well recognized as the most common infectious cause of nosocomial diarrhea. The incidence and severity of C. difficile infection (CDI) is increasing worldwide. Here, we evaluated simultaneously the transcriptional changes in the human colorectal epithelial Caco-2 cells and in C. difficile after infection. A total of 271 transcripts in Caco-2 cells and 207 transcripts in C. difficile were significantly differentially expressed at 1 time point during CDI. We used the gene ontology annotations and protein-protein network interactions to underline a framework of target molecules that could potentially play a key role during CDI. These genes included those associated with cellular metabolism, transcription, transport, cell communication, and signal transduction. Our data identified certain key factors that have previously been reported to be involved in CDI, as well as novel determinants that may participate in a complex mechanism underlying the host response to infection, bacterial adaptation, and pathogenesis.

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