Then, using a predictive software tool, researchers analyzed the relationship between the community structure of the micoorganisms and their function, presumably involved in maintaining resistance against CDI.
They identified 75 metabolic/functional pathways prevalent in the samples. The samples taken from patients before transplant had decreased levels of several modules related to basic metabolism and production of chemicals like amino acids and carbohydrates, but were enriched in pathways associated with stress response, compared to donor samples or post-transplant samples.
CDI has significantly increased during the past decade, Young says, with previous studies estimating there are more than 500,000 cases of CDI in the United States annually, with health care costs ranging from $1.3 billion to $3.4 billion. Up to 40 percent of patients suffer from recurrence of disease following standard antibiotic treatment. In a healthy person, gut microorganisms limit infections but antibiotics are believed to disrupt the normal structure of these microoganisms, rendering the gut less able to prevent infection with C. difficile.
Further identification of the specific microorganisms and functions that promote resistance of bacterial colonization, or growth, may aid in the development of improved CDI treatments, Young says: "If we can understand the functions that are missing, we can identify su
|Contact: Jim Sliwa|
American Society for Microbiology