Researchers lay groundwork for drugs to cure C. diff

Federally funded research published this week could offer scientists the building blocks needed to create drugs to cure Clostridium difficile.

Researchers at Baltimore-based University of Maryland School of Medicine, New York City-based City University of New York and Merck conducted the study, which was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

The research focused on a toxin the most dangerous strains of C. diff release, which binds to other cells and creates a "pore-forming channel" allowing it to enter, according to study author Amedee de Georges, PhD, a professor with CUNY's Advanced Science Research Center.

Researchers used several biophysical imaging techniques to identify the toxin's structure and mode of action. This information could help scientists discover how to prevent C. diff from entering other cells and causing illness.

"These details provide a critical and extremely useful starting point for designing drugs that can prevent C. diff infection," Dr. de Georges said in a press release.

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