Capsule-like structures in Clostridium difficile strains.

L. Baldassarri, G. Donelli, M. Cerquetti, P. Mastrantonio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fourteen strains of Clostridium difficile, previously characterized by SDS-PAGE, were examined for the presence of surface structures. None of the strains were fimbriated but, when grown in the presence of glucose, all exhibited a thin ruthenium red-positive layer. Two strains, belonging to different electrophoretic groups, were also observed after treatment with homologous and heterologous antisera. The strain belonging to the electrophoretic group 2, usually associated with the disease, showed a 30-80nm thick capsule in ultrathin sections. The strains belonging to group 5, mainly observed in isolates from healthy children, exhibited a thinner polysaccharide layer (10-20 nm). No stabilization was observed when these strains were treated with heterologous antisera. This capsule-like material did not seem to be associated with adhesive properties of C. difficile strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-300
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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