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Cefoperazone-treated Mouse Model of Clinically-relevant Clostridium difficile Strain R20291

Winston, JA;Thanissery, R;Montgomery, SA;Theriot, CM;

Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic, gram-positive, spore-forming enteric pathogen that is associated with increasing morbidity and mortality and consequently poses an urgent threat to public health. Recurrence of a C. difficile infection (CDI) after successful treatment with antibiotics is high, occurring in 20-30% of patients, thus necessitating the discovery of novel therapeutics against this pathogen. Current animal models of CDI result in high mortality rates and thus do not approximate the chronic, insidious disease manifestations seen in humans with CDI. To evaluate therapeutics against C. difficile, a mouse model approximating human disease utilizing a clinically-relevant strain is needed. This protocol outlines the cefoperazone mouse model of CDI using a clinically-relevant and genetically-tractable strain, R20291. Techniques for clinical disease monitoring, C. difficile bacterial enumeration, toxin cytotoxicity, and histopathological changes throughout CDI in a mouse model are detailed in the protocol. Compared to other mouse models of CDI, this model is not uniformly lethal at the dose administered, allowing for the observation of a prolonged clinical course of infection concordant with the human disease. Therefore, this cefoperazone mouse model of CDI proves a valuable experimental platform to assess the effects of novel therapeutics on the amelioration of clinical disease and on the restoration of colonization resistance against C. difficile.