Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Genetically diverse Clostridium difficile strains harboring abundant prophages in an estuarine environment
Authors: Hargreaves, Katherine R.
Colvin, H.V.
Patel, K.V.
Clokie, J.J.P.
Clokie, Martha R. J.
First Published: 2-Aug-2013
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Citation: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2013, 79 (20), pp. 6236-6243
Abstract: Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrheal disease in health care settings across the world. Despite its pathogenic capacity, it can be carried asymptomatically and has been found in terrestrial and marine ecosystems outside hospital environments. Little is known about these environmental strains, and few studies have been conducted on estuarine systems. Although prophage abundance and diversity are known to occur within clinical strains, prophage carriage within environmental strains of C. difficile has not previously been explored. In this study, we isolated C. difficile from sites sampled in two consecutive years in an English estuarine system. Isolates were characterized by PCR ribotype, antibiotic resistance, and motility. The prevalence and diversity of prophages were detected by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and a phage-specific PCR assay. We show that a dynamic and diverse population of C. difficile exists within these sediments and that it includes isolates of ribotypes which are associated with severe clinical infections and those which are more frequently isolated from outside the hospital environment. Prophage carriage was found to be high (75%), demonstrating that phages play a role in the biology of these strains.
DOI Link: 10.1128/AEM.01849-13
ISSN: 0099-2240
eISSN: 1098-5336
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © Hargreaves et al, 2013. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Appl. Environ. Microbiol.-2013-Hargreaves-6236-43-1.pdfPublished (publisher PDF)237.91 kBUnknownView/Open
Appl. Environ. Microbiol.-2013-Hargreaves-6236-43.pdfPublished (publisher PDF)305.12 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.