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Gayatri Vedantam
Department of Animal & Comparative Biomedical Sciences
University of Arizona

Title: The Role of Surface Antigens in Clostridioides difficile Colonization

Abstract:

Healthcare-associated infections cause significant morbidly worldwide, and can be fatal when diagnoses are delayed or therapeutic options limited. Clostridioides difficile, the causative agent of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, has been named by the CDC as the most urgent threat to US healthcare. C. difficile robustly colonizes the dysbiotic mammalian gastrointestinal tract, and produces up to three enterocyte-damaging intoxicants. The mechanisms of C. difficile’s gut establishment are poorly understood despite the appreciation that they are critical for initial as well as relapsing disease. Our laboratory studies surface-localized moieties of C. difficile with the goal of interrogating basic colonization mechanisms and developing targeted non-antibiotic interventions to prevent pathogen establishment and persistence. We also perform infection surveillance to identify contemporary human and veterinary C. difficile isolates that can be exploited for pre-clinical testing of anti-C. difficile interventions.

Host: Joseph Sorg