It’s hard to move into a house that is already occupied. Clostridium difficile infections are a little like that; this study found absence of certain types of bacteria is associated with colonization.
Microbiome Data Distinguish Patients with Clostridium difficile Infection and Non-C. difficile-Associated Diarrhea from Healthy Controls
The gut microbiome, composed of the trillions of bacteria residing in the gastrointestinal tract, is responsible for a number of critical functions within the host. These include digestion, immune system stimulation, and colonization resistance. The microbiome’s role in colonization resistance, which is the ability to prevent and limit pathogen colonization and growth, is key for protection against Clostridium difficile infections. However, the bacteria that are important for colonization resistance have not yet been elucidated. Using statistical modeling techniques and different representations of the microbiome, we demonstrated that several community types and the loss of several bacterial populations, including Bacteroides, Lachnospiraceae, and Ruminococcaceae, are associated with CDI. Our results emphasize the importance of considering the microbiome in mediating colonization resistance and may also direct the design of future multispecies probiotic therapies.