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Clostridium difficile is the etiologic agent of pseudomembranous colitis, a severe, sometimes fatal disease that occurs in adults undergoing antimicrobial therapy. The disease, ironically, has been most effectively treated with antibiotics, although some of the newer methods of treatment such as the replacement of the bowel flora may prove more beneficial(More)
Ten Bacteroides species found in the human colon were surveyed for their ability to ferment mucins and plant polysaccharides ("dietary fiber"). A number of strains fermented mucopolysaccharides (heparin, hyaluronate, and chondroitin sulfate) and ovomucoid. Only 3 of the 188 strains tested fermented beef submaxillary mucin, and none fermented porcine gastric(More)
A total of 154 strains from 22 species of Bifidobacterium, Peptostreptococcus, Lactobacillus, Ruminococcus, Coprococcus, Eubacterium, and Fusobacterium, which are present in high concentrations in the human colon, were surveyed for their ability to ferment 21 different complex carbohydrates. Plant polysaccharides, including amylose, amylopectin, pectin,(More)
The gene encoding the toxin A protein of Clostridium difficile (strain VPI 10463) was cloned and sequenced. The coding region of 8,133 base pairs had a mol% G + C of 26.9 and encodes 2,710 amino acids. The deduced polypeptide has a molecular mass of ca. 308 kilodaltons. Nearly a third of the gene, at the 3' end, consists of 38 repeating sequences. The(More)
TxeR, a sigma factor that directs Clostridium difficile RNA polymerase to recognize the promoters of two major toxin genes, was shown to stimulate its own synthesis. Whether expressed in C. difficile, Clostridium perfringens, or Escherichia coli, TxeR stimulated transcription of fusions of the txeR promoter region to reporter genes. As is the case for the(More)
Laminarin, a beta(1 leads to 3)-glucan similar to those found in plant cell walls, is fermented by some species of anaerobic bacteria from the human colon. Laminarinase (EC and beta-glucosidase (EC activities were determined in strains representing Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Bacteroides distasonis, and an unnamed deoxyribonucleic acid(More)
Heme or protoporphyrin IX was required for growth of Bacteroides fragilis in a defined medium. The amount of heme necessary for half-maximal growth was 2 to 10 ng/ml (3.8 to 15 pmol/ml) among the Bacteroides species and strains tested. The growth rate, metabolic products from glucose fermentation, and cell yields were affected by the concentration of heme(More)
Amebic colitis is an important worldwide parasitic disease for which there is not a well-established animal model. In this work we show that intracecal inoculation of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites led to established infection in 60% of C3H mice, while C57BL/6 or BALB/c mice were resistant, including mice genetically deficient for IL-12, IFN-gamma, or(More)
During the past decade, strains of Bacteroides fragilis that produce an enterotoxin have been implicated in diarrheal disease in animals and humans. The extracellular enterotoxin has been purified and characterized as a single polypeptide (M(r), approximately 20,000). Single specific primer-PCR was used to clone a portion of the B. fragilis enterotoxin(More)