Clostridium difficile in vivo studies

Currently, there are only a few laboratories worldwide that have the capacity and expertise to work on the evaluation of C. difficile prophylactics or therapeutics. This bacterial pathogen is well known to be extremely difficult to work with in animal models of infection and this is impeding the development of new treatments whether vaccines, probiotics or other biologicals.

We have facilities for conducting the evaluation of C. difficile infection in animal models. Specifically, mice and Golden Syrian hamsters. We have conducted multiple challenge experiments using different procedures. This includes models of colonisation, infection and relapse in both animal species [1-6].

We offer experience in working with:

  • The measurement of bacterial cfu in infected animals
  • ELISA evaluation of anti-IgG and anti-IgA responses
  • Cell cytoxicity assays to measure toxin A and toxin B
  • Challenge studies
  • Use of the hypervirulent 027 and 078 ribotypes

SporeGen® has state of the art facilities for animal work including over 120 IVC (independently ventilated cages) for housing animals during C. difficile infection experiments. We have worked with major pharma on vaccine evaluation studies and have highly skilled staff who can manage a complete animal study from start to finish.

If you are interested in discussing a project with SporeGen® please contact us.


[1] Lawley TD, Clare S, Walker AW, Goulding D, Stabler RA, Croucher N, et al. Antibiotic treatment of Clostridium difficile carrier mice triggers a supershedder state, spore-mediated transmission, and severe disease in immunocompromised hosts. Infection and Immunity. 2009;77:3661-9.

[2] Chen X, Katchar K, Goldsmith JD, Nanthakumar N, Cheknis A, Gerding DN, et al. A mouse model of Clostridium difficile-associated disease. Gastroenterology. 2008;135:1984-92.

[3] Sun X, Wang H, Zhang Y, Chen K, Davis B, Feng H. Mouse relapse model of Clostridium difficile infection. Infection and Immunity. 2011;79:2856-64.

[4] Permpoonpattana P, Hong HA, Phetcharaburanin J, Huang JM, Cook J, Fairweather NF, et al. Immunization with Bacillus spores expressing toxin A peptide repeats protects against infection with Clostridium difficile strains producing toxins A and B. Infection and Immunity. 2011;79:2295-302.

[5] Phetcharaburanin J, Hong HA, Colenutt C, Bianconi I, Sempere L, Permpoonpattana P, et al. The spore-associated protein BclA1 affects the susceptibility of animals to colonization and infection by Clostridium difficile. Molecular Microbiology. 2014;92:1025-38.

[6] Colenutt C, Cutting SM. Use of Bacillus subtilis PXN21 spores for suppression of Clostridium difficile infection symptoms in a murine model. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 2014;358:154-61.