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Protein Purification: Principles and Trends
Protein Purification: Principles and Trends
iConcept Press

Chapter 11

Protein Purification: Principles and Trends

The Clostridium Difficile Toxins: Mechanism of Action and Immunopathogenesis

by Charles Darkoh and Chioma Odo

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Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the leading cause of hospital-acquired and antibiotic-associated bacterial diarrhea in the United States, with the total cost of treatment estimated between 1 to 4.8 billion U.S. dollars annually. Morbidity and mortality resulting from CDI-associated diseases have also increased significantly over the past ten years, making C. difficile the number one emerging pathogen in the US. The highest risk factor for CDI is previous antibiotic therapy. Treatment with antimicrobials is, in as many as 25% of cases, ineffective resulting in recurrence of the infection. C. difficile (CD) overpopulates the human gastrointestinal tract after the normal gut microflora has been altered by antibiotic therapy. Consequently, it produces toxins A and B that directly cause disease. Pathogenic strains of CD possess a 19.6 kb pathogenicity locus, which is responsible for the production of toxins A and B, encoded by tcdA and tcdB, respectively. These toxins are directly responsible for disease, as only strains able to produce either of the toxins cause disease. This section will be based on our recent data on the properties of the Clostridium difficile toxins, the mechanism of action, and the immunopathogenesis of the toxins.

Author Details

Charles Darkoh
School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, Center For Infectious Diseases, Houston, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Texas, USA
Chioma Odo
The University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics, ,Houston, Texas, USA


Charles Darkoh and Chioma Odo. The Clostridium Difficile Toxins: Mechanism of Action and Immunopathogenesis. In Protein Purification: Principles and Trends. ISBN:978-1-922227-40-9. iConcept Press. 2016.