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Horizontal gene transfer converts non-toxigenic Clostridium difficile strains into toxin producers.

Brouwer, MS; Roberts, AP; Hussain, H; Williams, RJ; Allan, E; Mullany, P; (2013) Horizontal gene transfer converts non-toxigenic Clostridium difficile strains into toxin producers. Nat Commun , 4 , Article 2601. 10.1038/ncomms3601. Green open access

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Abstract

Clostridium difficile is a major nosocomial pathogen and the main causative agent of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea. The organism produces two potent toxins, A and B, which are its major virulence factors. These are chromosomally encoded on a region termed the pathogenicity locus (PaLoc), which also contains regulatory genes, and is absent in non-toxigenic strains. Here we show that the PaLoc can be transferred from the toxin-producing strain, 630Δerm, to three non-toxigenic strains of different ribotypes. One of the transconjugants is shown by cytotoxicity assay to produce toxin B at a similar level to the donor strain, demonstrating that a toxigenic C. difficile strain is capable of converting a non-toxigenic strain to a toxin producer by horizontal gene transfer. This has implications for the treatment of C. difficile infections, as non-toxigenic strains are being tested as treatments in clinical trials.

Type: Article
Title: Horizontal gene transfer converts non-toxigenic Clostridium difficile strains into toxin producers.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3601
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms3601
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. To view a copy of this licence visit http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute > Microbial Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Genetics and Genomic Medicine Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1409768
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