Gut solutions to a gut problem: bacteriocins, probiotics and bacteriophage for control of Clostridium difficile infection

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Abstract

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among hospitalized patients and imposes a considerable financial burden on health service providers in both Europe and the USA. The incidence of CDI has dramatically increased in recent years, partly due to the emergence of a number of hypervirulent strains. The most commonly documented risk factors associated with CDIs are antibiotic usage leading to alterations of the gut microbiota, age >65 years and long-term hospital stay. Since standard therapies for antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and CDI have limited efficacy, there is now an urgent need for alternative therapeutics. In this review, we outline the current state of play with regard to the potential of gut-derived bacteriocins, probiotics and phage to act as antimicrobial agents against CDI in the human gut.

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