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Clostridium difficile

Clostridium difficile is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins HIV Guide.

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  • Spore-forming, anaerobic, gram-positive rod.
  • Produces toxins A and B, which bind to specific receptors in colon. Toxins attack Rho proteins, disrupting actin formation and causing cell death.
  • Studies show that toxin B, not toxin A, is essential for virulence.
  • Spores contaminate hands and hospital environment. Alcohol and other antiseptic hand rubs may be ineffective in killing spores. Hand-washing physically removes spores.
  • A hypervirulent strain (NAP1/B1/027) produces higher levels of toxins A and B and is associated with fluoroquinolone resistance, more severe disease, and higher mortality.

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Last updated: January 3, 2017


McKenzie, Robin. "Clostridium Difficile." Johns Hopkins HIV Guide, 2017. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545039/all/Clostridium_difficile.
McKenzie R. Clostridium difficile. Johns Hopkins HIV Guide. 2017. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545039/all/Clostridium_difficile. Accessed July 22, 2019.
McKenzie, R. (2017). Clostridium difficile. In Johns Hopkins HIV Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545039/all/Clostridium_difficile
McKenzie R. Clostridium Difficile [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins HIV Guide. ; 2017. [cited 2019 July 22]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545039/all/Clostridium_difficile.
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