AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Tag: Clostridium Difficile

C. Difficile Colitis: How To Prevent It

What is Clostridioides difficile Colitis, or C. difficile Colitis, and how can you get it? C. difficile Colitis is an infection of the Colon caused by an excess amount of the Clostridioides difficile bacterium in your intestines. Some symptoms of the infection include diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, and blood in stool. C. difficile Colitis is spread by feces, it usually comes from touching a contaminated surface, then touching your mouth. As repulsive as it sounds, it’s actually a lot more common than you might think. Statistics reported by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that in 2015, more than 148 out of every 1,000 people contracted C. Difficile Colitis.

Clostridium Difficile Bacteria



Confused and concerned by these findings, Kashyap, a Gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, alongside her team, decided to conduct an experiment on mice to get to the bottom of this infection. It is known that a disturbance in the combination of gut microbes within a mouse, can, in many cases, cause a C. Difficile infection inside of them. That being said, the researchers, at random, extracted and transported fecal matter from people’s colons with either normal or disturbed microbiomes, and transplanted the gut microbes into the mice’s stomachs.

Results of the experiment, as they predicted, showed that the mice that received transplants from people with disturbed microbiomes were not able to fight off the C. Difficile infection as well as the mice who received transplants from people with normal microbiomes, could. The results showed that, anteceding the experiment, the mice who had received the transplant of disturbed gut microbiomes, experienced an increase in a few specific amino acids found in their gut, especially proline. Proline is a major food source of C. Difficile bacteria, which in turn, strengthens the bacteria, giving it an advantage over other microbes found in the gut, that do not consume proline. This proved that proline-deficient people have much less C. Difficile bacteria in their intestines, thus making them far less susceptible to contracting the infection.

All that being said, the best way to prevent C. Difficile Colitis, is to avoid any and all antibiotics containing proline and to consider taking probiotics with proline-eating bacteria in order to hopefully outrun and weaken C. Difficile bacteria within the intestines, helping to restore the balance of microbes. Please don’t hesitate to comment what you think!

Using Poop to Save the People

     Bi YO! What’s going on readers? Today I will discuss the recent phenomenon of gut microbiome transplants, and more interestingly, how recent research has allowed patients to be treated through the use of human feces.

Our microbiome, a term coined by Joshua Lederberg, is a system used “to signify the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space and have been all but ignored as determinants of health and disease.” They are the bacteria insi

Microbiome Chart Explanation (

de of us and are vastly abundant in our body. A Clostridium Difficile infection causes diarrhea and the colon to be inflamed. However, there had not been a truly successful treatment to this issue until recently. But recently, the poop of the people has proven itself to be a powerful panacea. Ari Grinspan became performing FMT’s, fecal transplantations, in 2013, and has done so with a 92% success rate. In these procedures, feces is taking from a healthy, clean donor. It is vital that this happens. Then, they transfer the healthy sample into the colon of the unhealthy patient while the patient is undergoing a colonoscopy. Scientists are actually currently uncertain of why it works so well- one theory is that increased bacterial competition stops growth of Clostridium Difficile. Regardless, the process is groundbreaking- maybe it wasn’t waste after all.

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