Dietary trehalose enhances virulence of epidemic Clostridium difficile.
Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.
University of Oregon, Institute for Molecular Biology, 1318 Franklin Boulevard, Eugene, Oregon 97403, USA.
Leiden University Medical Centre, Department of Medical Microbiology, Albinusdreef 2, 2333 ZA Leiden, The Netherlands.
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire CB10 1SA, UK.
- Published Article
- Publication Date
Jan 18, 2018
Clostridium difficile disease has recently increased to become a dominant nosocomial pathogen in North America and Europe, although little is known about what has driven this emergence. Here we show that two epidemic ribotypes (RT027 and RT078) have acquired unique mechanisms to metabolize low concentrations of the disaccharide trehalose. RT027 strains contain a single point mutation in the trehalose repressor that increases the sensitivity of this ribotype to trehalose by more than 500-fold. Furthermore, dietary trehalose increases the virulence of a RT027 strain in a mouse model of infection. RT078 strains acquired a cluster of four genes involved in trehalose metabolism, including a PTS permease that is both necessary and sufficient for growth on low concentrations of trehalose. We propose that the implementation of trehalose as a food additive into the human diet, shortly before the emergence of these two epidemic lineages, helped select for their emergence and contributed to hypervirulence.
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This record was last updated on 06/09/2018 and may not reflect the most current and accurate biomedical/scientific data available from NLM.
The corresponding record at NLM can be accessed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29310122