Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) are the leading cause of world-wide nosocomial acquired diarrhea. The current main clinical challenge in CDI is the elevated rate of infection recurrence that may reach up to 30% of the patients, which has been associated to the formation of dormant spores during the infection. We sought to characterize the effects of oral administration of specific anti-spore IgY in mouse models of CDI and recurrent CDI. The specificity of anti-spore IgY was evaluated in vitro. In both, initiation mouse model and recurrence mouse model, we evaluated the prophylactic and therapeutic effect of anti-spore IgY, respectively. Our results demonstrate that anti-spore IgY exhibited high specificity and titers against C. difficile spores and reduced spore adherence to intestinal cells in vitro. Administration of anti-spore IgY to C57BL/6 mice prior and during CDI delayed the appearance of the diarrhea by 1.5 day, and spore adherence to the colonic mucosa by 90%. Notably, in the recurrence model, co-administration of anti-spore IgY coupled with vancomycin delayed the appearance of recurrent diarrhea by a median of 2 days. Collectively, these observations suggest that anti-spore IgY antibodies may be used as a novel prophylactic treatment for CDI, or in combination with antibiotics to treat CDI and prevent recurrence of the infection.
Clostridium difficile spores; chicken immunoglobulin IgY; exosporium; germination; immunotherapy; passive immunization; recurrent CDI; sporulation