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The Enterotoxicity of Clostridium difficile Toxins
Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA, 01536, USA
The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 77555, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 June 2010; in revised form: 23 June 2010 / Accepted: 9 July 2010 / Published: 14 July 2010
Abstract: The major virulence factors of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) are two large exotoxins A (TcdA) and B (TcdB). However, our understanding of the specific roles of these toxins in CDI is still evolving. It is now accepted that both toxins are enterotoxic and proinflammatory in the human intestine. Both purified TcdA and TcdB are capable of inducing the pathophysiology of CDI, although most studies have focused on TcdA. C. difficile toxins exert a wide array of biological activities by acting directly on intestinal epithelial cells. Alternatively, the toxins may target immune cells and neurons once the intestinal epithelial barrier is disrupted. The toxins may also act indirectly by stimulating cells to produce chemokines, proinflammatory cytokines, neuropeptides and other neuroimmune signals. This review considers the mechanisms of TcdA- and TcdB-induced enterotoxicity, and recent developments in this field.
Keywords: Clostridium difficile; toxin A (TcdA); toxin B (TcdB); enterotoxicity
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Sun, X.; Savidge, T.; Feng, H. The Enterotoxicity of Clostridium difficile Toxins. Toxins 2010, 2, 1848-1880.
Sun X, Savidge T, Feng H. The Enterotoxicity of Clostridium difficile Toxins. Toxins. 2010; 2(7):1848-1880.
Sun, Xingmin; Savidge, Tor; Feng, Hanping. 2010. "The Enterotoxicity of Clostridium difficile Toxins." Toxins 2, no. 7: 1848-1880.