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An update on antibody-based immunotherapies for Clostridium difficile infection

Authors Hussack G, Tanha J

Received 22 December 2015

Accepted for publication 18 April 2016

Published 1 August 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 209—224

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CEG.S84017

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Prof. Dr. Jan Bilski

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Andreas M Kaiser


Greg Hussack,1 Jamshid Tanha1–3

1Human Health Therapeutics Portfolio, National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, 2School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, 3Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Abstract: Clostridium difficile continues to be one of the most prevalent hospital-acquired bacterial infections in the developed world, despite the recent introduction of a novel and effective antibiotic agent (fidaxomicin). Alternative approaches under investigation to combat the anaerobic Gram-positive bacteria include fecal transplantation therapy, vaccines, and antibody-based immunotherapies. In this review, we catalog the recent advances in antibody-based approaches under development and in the clinic for the treatment of C. difficile infection. By and large, inhibitory antibodies that recognize the primary C. difficile virulence factors, toxin A and toxin B, are the most popular passive immunotherapies under investigation. We provide a detailed summary of the toxin epitopes recognized by various antitoxin antibodies and discuss general trends on toxin inhibition efficacy. In addition, antibodies to other C. difficile targets, such as surface-layer proteins, binary toxin, motility factors, and adherence and colonization factors, are introduced in this review.

Keywords: antibody, Clostridium difficile, immunotherapy, toxin

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