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J Clin Microbiol. 1984 Sep;20(3):539-48.

Frequency-pulsed electron capture gas-liquid chromatographic analysis of metabolites produced by Clostridium difficile in broth enriched with amino acids.


Clostridium difficile strain CDC A-567 was cultured in Trypticase (BBL Microbiology Systems)-yeast-salt broth supplemented with 0.2% L-leucine, L-norleucine, L-isoleucine, L-tyrosine, or L-tryptophan. Four extractions were done on the spent medium, three at pH 2 and one at pH 10, using CHCL3 or ether. Derivatizations were done with trichloroethanol, heptafluorobutyric anhydride, and heptafluorobutyric anhydride-ethanol. All samples were analyzed with frequency-pulsed electron capture gas-liquid chromatography. A dedicated computer was used to assist in data analysis. C. difficile produced both short-chain and aromatic acids in Trypticase-yeast-salt broth; hydroxy acids were also detected. p-Cresol, indoleacetic acid, 4-methylthio-2-hydroxybutyric acid, and some unidentified alcohols were observed. The basic chloroform extraction contained cadaverine and putrescine. Leucine, norleucine, and isoleucine influenced the production of C5 and C6 acids and alcohols. L-Tyrosine underwent successive degradation to produce p-cresol and aromatic acids as final products. Tryptophan increased the production of indoleacetic, indolepropionic, and indolebutyric acids. Isocaproic acid was produced in relatively high concentrations regardless of medium substitution. The consistent production of iC6 under various substrate conditions indicates that the production of this compound might be consistent enough in vitro to form the basis of a rapid test for detection of C. difficile in stool specimens by frequency-pulsed electron capture gas-liquid chromatography.

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