Systems Biology Approach Reveals Genetic Diversity of a Particularly Problematic Pathogen; Clostridioides difficile Is Bacterial Bane within Health Care, Typically Infecting Patients Rendered Vulnerable by Antibiotic Use; Whole-Genome Sequences of Different Strains Should Be Useful in Model Building

Illustration of a Clostridoides difficile bacillus, a common cause of antibiotic-associated intestinal illness. (Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Researchers at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and Jacobs School of Engineering, with colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine, have used a systems biology approach to parse the genetic diversity of Clostridioides difficile, a particularly problematic pathogen in health care settings. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that the bacterium causes approximately 500,000 infections in the United States annually, with severe diarrhea and colitis (inflammation of the colon) as characteristic symptoms. The researchers’ findings were published in the April 27, 2022 online issue of PNAS. The open-access article is titled “Systems Biology Approach to Functionally Assess the Clostridioides difficile Pangenome Reveals Genetic Diversity with Discriminatory Power.”
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