Thuricin CD tested as specific antibiotic for Clostridium difficile

May 03, 2010

A University of Alberta researcher is part of an international team that has discovered a naturally occurring micro-organism that directly targets a bacteria that causes a sometimes deadly intestinal disease in young children and the elderly.

John Vederas, a U of A chemistry researcher working with colleagues in Ireland, found that a strain of the common soil bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis, produces thuricin CD, a 1:1 mixture of two compounds () that kills the potentially deadly bacteria, Clostridium difficile. But unlike other antibacterial agents, thuricin CD does no harm to other bacteria in the human gut, which are necessary for a balanced state of health.

Clostridium difficile causes abdominal pain and diarrhea that can require hospitalization. Outbreaks of the disease can be deadly in long-term care facilities. Provincial health officials in Quebec listed a Clostridium difficile outbreak as the direct cause of death for more than 1,000 people between 2003 and 2004.

When a is treated with a broad spectrum antibiotic, it clears all the from the gut and Clostridium difficile can take quickly take hold.

Thuricin CD has shown promising results as a specific for Clostridium difficile in vitro and is now being tested in animals.

Explore further: Unsteady on your feet? Little touches could make all the difference

More information: Vederas is co author of a paper on thuricin CD published this month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

C. difficile and antibiotics not necessarily linked

Oct 07, 2008

The latest study by Dr. Sandra Dial from the Research Institute of the MUHC, McGill University, and Attending Staff in the Intensive Care Unit at the Jewish General Hospital, questions the assumption held by a vast majority ...

The balance shifts

May 27, 2008

The risk of contracting a Clostridium difficile infection following operations for which a "prophylactic" antibiotic is given to prevent infection is 21 times greater now than it was just a decade ago, according to researchers ...

APIC launches first national C. difficile prevalence study

Mar 20, 2008

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) today announced a detailed strategy to combat Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD). The initiative begins with the first national prevalence ...

Recommended for you

Neutralising antibodies for safer organ transplants

19 hours ago

Serious complications can arise following kidney transplants. If dialysis is required within the first seven days, then the transplanted organ is said to have a Delayed Graft Function (DGF), and essentially ...

User comments : 0