Fuorescent pictures of a human colon organoid stained for E-cadherin in red and DAPI in blue.  CREDIT Dr Thierry Jarde
Original Published Date: 
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Full article issued by Monash University.

An ARC-supported research collaboration at Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) has revealed that a bacterial superbug can prevent stem cells in the gut from carrying out their vital role of regenerating the inner lining of the intestine. This causes potentially severe disease, particularly in the elderly.

The research team, which included ARC Future Fellowship recipient Professor Dena Lyras, found that Clostridioides difficile infection, the most common cause of hospital-acquired diarrhoea, damages colonic stem cells via a toxin called TcdB, impairing tissue repair in the gut and recovery from disease. More than 90 per cent of mortalities resulting from infections are caused by Clostridioides difficile.

The researchers say that by understanding this new mechanism of damage and repair, there may be new ways found to prevent damage to the gut lining, or develop new treatments. The findings might also apply to other infections that behave in similar ways.

Photo credit: 

Fluorescent pictures of a human colon organoid stained for E-cadherin in red and DAPI in blue. Credit: Dr Thierry Jarde.