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Genes (Basel). 2015 Dec 21;6(4):1347-60. doi: 10.3390/genes6041347.

Disruption of the Gut Microbiome: Clostridium difficile Infection and the Threat of Antibiotic Resistance.

Author information

1
Infection and Immunity Program, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton 3800, Australia. priscilla.johanesen@monash.edu.
2
Infection and Immunity Program, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton 3800, Australia. kate.mackin@monash.edu.
3
Infection and Immunity Program, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton 3800, Australia. melanie.hutton@monash.edu.
4
Infection and Immunity Program, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton 3800, Australia. milena.awad@monash.edu.
5
Infection and Immunity Program, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton 3800, Australia. sarah.larcombe@monash.edu.
6
Infection and Immunity Program, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton 3800, Australia. jacob.amy@monash.edu.
7
Infection and Immunity Program, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton 3800, Australia. dena.lyras@monash.edu.

Abstract

Clostridium difficile is well recognized as the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, having a significant impact in both health-care and community settings. Central to predisposition to C. difficile infection is disruption of the gut microbiome by antibiotics. Being a Gram-positive anaerobe, C. difficile is intrinsically resistant to a number of antibiotics. Mobile elements encoding antibiotic resistance determinants have also been characterized in this pathogen. While resistance to antibiotics currently used to treat C. difficile infection has not yet been detected, it may be only a matter of time before this occurs, as has been seen with other bacterial pathogens. This review will discuss C. difficile disease pathogenesis, the impact of antibiotic use on inducing disease susceptibility, and the role of antibiotic resistance and mobile elements in C. difficile epidemiology.

KEYWORDS:

Clostridium difficile; antibiotic resistance; antibiotic-associated diarrhea; microbiome; microbiota; mobile genetic elements

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