By the same authors

From the same journal

The Spore Coat Protein CotE Facilitates Host Colonization by Clostridium difficile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Huynh A. Hong
  • William T. Ferreira
  • Siamand Hosseini
  • Saba Anwar
  • Krisztina Hitri
  • Anthony J. Wilkinson
  • Wilfried Vahjen
  • Jürgen Zentek
  • Mikhail Soloviev
  • Simon M. Cutting


Publication details

JournalThe Journal of Infectious Diseases
DateAccepted/In press - 12 Sep 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sep 2017
DatePublished (current) - 12 Dec 2017
Issue number11
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)1452-1459
Early online date15/09/17
Original languageEnglish


Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is an important hospital-acquired infection resulting from the germination of spores in the intestine as a consequence of antibiotic-mediated dysbiosis of the gut microbiota. Key to this is CotE, a protein displayed on the spore surface and carrying 2 functional elements, an N-terminal peroxiredoxin and a C-terminal chitinase domain. Using isogenic mutants, we show in vitro and ex vivo that CotE enables binding of spores to mucus by direct interaction with mucin and contributes to its degradation. In animal models of CDI, we show that when CotE is absent, both colonization and virulence were markedly reduced. We demonstrate here that the attachment of spores to the intestine is essential in the development of CDI. Spores are usually regarded as biochemically dormant, but our findings demonstrate that rather than being simply agents of transmission and dissemination, spores directly contribute to the establishment and promotion of disease.

Bibliographical note

© The Author 2017

    Research areas

  • chitinase, Clostridium difficile, colonization, mucus, spores, virulence

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