Inducing and Quantifying Clostridium difficile Spore Formation.

Methods in Molecular Biology
Aimee ShenKeyan Pishdadian


The Gram-positive nosocomial pathogen Clostridium difficile induces sporulation during growth in the gastrointestinal tract. Sporulation is necessary for this obligate anaerobe to form metabolically dormant spores that can resist antibiotic treatment, survive exit from the mammalian host, and transmit C. difficile infections. In this chapter, we describe a method for inducing C. difficile sporulation in vitro. This method can be used to study sporulation and maximize spore purification yields for a number of C. difficile strain backgrounds. We also describe procedures for visualizing spore formation using phase-contrast microscopy and for quantifying the efficiency of sporulation using heat resistance as a measure of functional spore formation.


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