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Gut Microbes. 2012 Mar-Apr;3(2):145-67. doi: 10.4161/gmic.19526. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Models for the study of Clostridium difficile infection.

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Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Microbiology Department, Old Medical School, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK.


Models of Clostridium difficile infection (C. difficile) have been used extensively for Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) research. The hamster model of C. difficile infection has been most extensively employed for the study of C. difficile and this has been used in many different areas of research, including the induction of C. difficile, the testing of new treatments, population dynamics and characterization of virulence. Investigations using in vitro models for C. difficile introduced the concept of colonization resistance, evaluated the role of antibiotics in C. difficile development, explored population dynamics and have been useful in the evaluation of C. difficile treatments. Experiments using models have major advantages over clinical studies and have been indispensible in furthering C. difficile research. It is important for future study programs to carefully consider the approach to use and therefore be better placed to inform the design and interpretation of clinical studies.

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