Researchers from DCU and Trinity College have identified a novel mechanism by which humans can defend themselves against the well known hospital superbug, Clostridium difficile.
The study provided critical information for the development of therapies for the treatment of the infection caused by this bacterium. Furthermore it has unveiled one of the reasons why some patients are highly susceptible to this bacterium and go on to develop very severe infection.
In the past two decades the incidence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has increased dramatically and the impact of CDI in healthcare settings is considerable in terms of mortality, morbidity and disease management. The increase in mortality rates, which in some countries are now three times that of MSRA, has been largely attributed to the emergence of strains of C. difficile with increasing antibiotic resistance.
Dr Cristine Loscher, Senior Lecturer in Immunology at Dublin City University, said that “This is a major step forward in the battle against this superbug, which provides us with a new understanding of how the immune system responds to Clostridium difficile in humans. This is the vital information we need in order to design ways to help patients fight this infection.”