Clostridium difficile Infection
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Clostridium difficile infection is occurs when the C.difficile overgrows other intestinal flora in antibiotic treated patients, releases toxins and causes pseudomembranous colitis. Clostridium difficile evades host immune defense systems and produces enterotoxin A and enterotoxin B, which modulate cellular signaling pathways. There is a severe acute colitis characterized by the formation of an adherent layer of inflammatory cells and debris overlying sites of mucosal injury—the so-called pseudomembrane. Diagnosis is confirmed by the detection of the C. difficile cytotoxin in the stool. So far this condition appears unique to humans, but it could be because aggressive antibiotic therapy may not be used as often in captive great apes.
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