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Identification Of Beneficial Bacteria May Lead To New Treatment For Common Infection

Infection with the bacterial pathogen Clostridium difficile is a growing problem. C. diff, as it is commonly known, releases toxins that damage the lining of the large intestine, leading to abdominal pain, diarrhea, and sometimes more serious conditions that can take weeks or months to resolve and can — in rare circumstances — be fatal.

Now research from Memorial Sloan Kettering is providing support for a novel preventive strategy: using a bacterial species that is naturally found in healthy gastrointestinal tracts to prevent C. diff infections.

“It’s been well appreciated that the loss of normal bacteria in the intestines can lead to infection with C. diff,” says Eric Pamer, Head of the Division of General Medicine, Chief of MSK’s Infectious Diseases Service, and the senior author of a study published recently in Nature. “Now that we know which bacterial species has a protective effect, we can begin to look for ways to develop a clinical treatment.”

Restoring the Balance
Experts have known for several decades that treatment with…

Originally posted on Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

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