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Anaerobe. 2011 Oct;17(5):252-6. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2011.06.009. Epub 2011 Jun 25.

Non-toxigenic Clostridium sordellii: clinical and microbiological features of a case of cholangitis-associated bacteremia.

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The Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, 48109, USA.


Toxigenic Clostridium sordellii strains are increasingly recognized to cause highly lethal infections in humans that are typified by a toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Two glucosylating toxins, lethal toxin (TcsL) and hemorrhagic toxin (TcsH) are believed to be important in the pathogenesis of TSS. While non-toxigenic strains of C. sordellii demonstrate reduced cytotoxicity in vitro and lower virulence in animal models of infection, there are few data regarding their behavior in humans. Here we report a non-TSS C. sordellii infection in the context of a polymicrobial bacterial cholangitis. The C. sordellii strain associated with this infection did not carry either the TcsL-encoding tcsL gene or the tcsH gene for TcsH. In addition, the strain was neither cytotoxic in vitro nor lethal in a murine sepsis model. These results provide additional correlative evidence that TcsL and TcsH increase the risk of mortality during C. sordellii infections.

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