Inhibition of spores to prevent the recurrence of Clostridioides difficile infection - A possibility or an improbability?

Chun Wei Chiu, Pei Jane Tsai, Ching Chi Lee, Wen Chien Ko, Yuan Pin Hung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Clostridioides difficile is one of the most common nosocomial gastrointestinal pathogens, and recurrence is a problematic issue because approximately 20–30% of patients experience at least one episode of recurrence, even after treatment with a therapeutic drug of choice for C. difficile infection (CDI), such as vancomycin. CDI recurrence has a multifactorial complex mechanism, in which gut microbiota disruption coincident with viable C. difficile spores, is considered the most important factor. The effectiveness of an anti-C. difficile antimicrobial agent against CDI cannot guarantee its inhibitory effect on C. difficile spores and vice versa. However, an antimicrobial agent, such as fidaxomicin, which has a good inhibitory effect on both C. difficile vegetative cells and spores is assumed to not only treat CDI but also prevent its recurrence. Prolonged adherence to the exosporium has been proposed as a possible mechanism of inhibiting spores, and as a result, redesigning anti-C. difficile antimicrobial agents with the ability to adhere to the exosporium may provide another pathway for the development of anti-C. difficile spore agents. For example, vancomycin lacks an inhibitory effect against C. difficile spores, but a vancomycin-loaded spore-targeting iron oxide nanoparticle that selectively binds to C. difficile spores has been developed to successfully delay spore germination. Some new antimicrobial agents in phase II clinical trials, including cadazolid and ridinilazole, have shown exceptional anti-C. difficile and spore-inhibiting effects that can be expected to not only treat CDI but also prevent its recurrence in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1017
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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