Pizarro-Guajardo M1Díaz-González F1Álvarez-Lobos M2Paredes-Sabja D1Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2017 Aug 14;7:365. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2017.00365. eCollection 2017.

Microbiota-Host Interactions and Clostridia Research Group, Departamento de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidad Andres BelloSantiago, Chile.
Departamento de Gastroenterología, Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad CatólicaSantiago, Chile.


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