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Bacterial structure and functions
Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax)
Bacillus cereus (Food poisoning)
Corynebacterium diphtheriae (Diphtheria)
Clostridium botulinum (Botulism)
Clostridium difficile (Pseudomembranous colitis)
Clostridium tetani (Tetanus)
Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Strep)
Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Strep)
Bartonella henselae (Cat-scratch disease and Bacillary angiomatosis)
Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever)
Salmonella typhi (typhoid fever)
Yersinia pestis (Plague)
Vibrio cholerae (Cholera)
Bordetella pertussis (Whooping cough)
Francisella tularensis (Tularemia)
Haemophilus ducreyi (Chancroid)
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Tuberculosis)
Mycobacterium avium complex (NORD)
Gardnerella vaginalis (Bacterial vaginosis)
Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)
Ehrlichia and Anaplasma
Rickettsia rickettsii (Rocky Mountain spotted fever) and other Rickettsia species
Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease)
Borrelia species (Relapsing fever)
Treponema pallidum (Syphilis)
0 / 14 complete
0 / 2 complete
Clostridium difficile (Clostridioides difficile) Treatments
Clostridium difficile p. , 724
Clostridium difficile p. , 136
Clostridium difficile with p. 724
Clostridium difficile and p. 136
antibiotic use and p. 136, 182
metronidazole p. 192
nosocomial infection p. 182
presentation of p. 724
proton pump inhibitor use p. 405
spore formation p. 129
vancomycin p. 187
watery diarrhea p. 176
Clostridium difficile p. , 136, 724
Clostridium difficile is difficult to treat, hence the name.
Clostridia, as a family, are obligate anaerobes, meaning they don’t require oxygen to thrive, in fact, they’re better off without it.
In nature, they thrive in deep, compact soil, and when they feel the stress of fresh oxygenated air, they often produce spores, which are extremely resilient to the environment.
When conditions improve, the spores can sprout into fully fledged Clostridia.
In the lab, when doing a gram stain, Clostridium difficile is gram positive, or purple and look like big cylinders or rods.
Now, Clostridium difficile can sometimes establish residence in our colon typically after a person has accidentally ingested the bacteria that originally were living in another person’s colon.
This is called the fecal-oral route, and it usually results from eating with unwashed hands.
In fact, around 5% of the population are asymptomatic carriers of Clostridium difficile, but the vast majority of these individuals don’t seem to have an issue with it!
That’s because there are a number of bacterial species living in the intestines that make up the microbiome.
These various bacterial species called the normal flora, coexist in an environment where they live together and compete for resources.
A healthy normal flora, therefore doesn’t allow Clostridium difficile to dominate the intestines.
However, if the diversity of that normal flora is disturbed - by antibiotics - for instance, then organisms that are resistant to antibiotics like Clostridium difficile can thrive while other bacteria might die out.
That can allow for overgrowth of Clostridium difficile.
Another way to disturb the equilibrium of the gut biome is use of chemotherapy or prolonged use of elemental diet, which is gastric tube feeding of elemental liquid nutrients, often seen in intensive care units.
In these situations, once again, the normal flora gets disturbed and it tilts the equilibrium towards Clostridium difficile.
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