Research ArticleInfectious Disease

A small-molecule antivirulence agent for treating Clostridium difficile infection

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Science Translational Medicine  23 Sep 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 306, pp. 306ra148
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aac9103

A tough drug for a C. difficile problem

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is an emerging disease threat caused by use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. CDI is the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea, and with nearly half a million cases diagnosed in the United States each year, it places a yearly estimated burden of more than $4 billion on the U.S. healthcare system. A shift away from standard antibiotics is required to successfully contain this pathogen. Using a screen targeting bacterial virulence factors, Oresic Bender and colleagues identified a lead compound already in human clinical trials. The compound showed potent protective effects in a mouse model of CDI, supporting its translation into clinical studies as a new non-antibiotic treatment for CDI.

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