Often abbreviated to C. difficile or just C. diff. C. difficile can cause diarrhea and inflammation in infected patients, and spreads through a fecal-oral mechanism, generally the result of poor hygiene. Although C. difficile infections can respond poorly to antibiotics, recent research shows that fecal-microbiota transplants (FMT) can be effective. FMT involves transplanting fecal matter from a healthy donor into the infected patient’s gut in an effort to repopulate their microbiome. FMT is, however, an unusual approach.
Clostridium difficile (pronounced “closs-TRID-ee-um diff-ee-SEAL”) is from the genus (or group) Clostridium, other species of which are common and harmless occupants of the human gut. The genus name Clostridium comes from the Greek word klôstêr, which means “spindle”. Under a microscope, Clostridium bacteria have a cylinder-shape with a bulge at one end, resembling the spindles used in cloth weaving. The species name “difficile” is a form of the Latin adjective “difficilis,” because the organism proved problematic to isolate when it was first identified in 1935.
The main symptoms of Clostridium difficile infection are watery diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain. Treatment may involve the prescription of antibiotics, and the experimental and somewhat rare (but often surprisingly effective) use of fecal microbiome transplantation, in which specially-processed fecal matter from a healthy donor is transplanted into the patient’s gut in order to recolonize it with non-pathogenic bacteria.
1. Natalya Yutin and Michael Y. Galperin. (2013). A genomic update on clostridial phylogeny: Gram-negative spore-formers and other misplaced clostridia. Environ Microbiol, 15(10), 2631–2641.
2. Pant, C., Deshpande, A., Altaf, M. A., Minocha, A., Sferra, T. J., & Altaf, M. A. (2013). Clostridium difficile infection in children : a comprehensive review. Current Medical Research and Opinion, 29(8), 967–984.
3. Cohen, N. A., Ami, R. Ben, Guzner-gur, H., Santo, M. E., Halpern, Z., & Maharshak, N. (2015). Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Clostridium difficile-Associated Diarrhea. IMAJ, 17(August), 510–515.
4. Clostridium review on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. http://www.cdc. gov/HAI/organisms/cdiff/Cdiff_faqs_HCP.html#a9
Welcome to uBiome!
We are the world’s first effort to map the human microbiome with citizen science. Our sequencing service provides information and tools for you to explore the populations of bacteria that live on and inside your body.
What We Do
Based on research from the NIH Human Microbiome Project, we've perfected the technology to perform large-scale microbiome studies. The knowledge we'll gain may (one day) empower people to live healthier and accelerate our understanding of the world around us. For the individual, we leverage this technology to help you better understand your own microbiome. Here's what you can learn:
DISCOVER WHAT’S LIVING INSIDE YOU
An estimated 500 - 1,000 species of bacteria live in the human gut. Get the breakdown of what yours are down to the genus level.
HOW IS YOUR GUT FUNCTIONING?
How well does your gut metabolize caffeine? How about carbohydrates? Our NEW functionality tab lets you compare 109 different functions of your gut, and how they stack up against others.
SNAPSHOT IN TIME
If you’re thinking of trying something new – a new diet, probiotics, or anything else – get a “before” picture of your microbiome to compare with your “after”, and see what has changed.
COMPARE YOUR MICROBIOME
Find out how you're different. Is your microbiome more like a vegan's or a heavy drinker's? Are your bacteria more or less diverse than other people of your gender? See how you measure up.
BE A CITIZEN SCIENTIST
We give you the data, what will you do with it? Team up with uBiome to research the microbiome, and discover something new.
Every day, we are learning more about the human microbiome, and we hope to have many discoveries to share as we go. It’s a vast new frontier of scientific research. Thank you for being part of it with us!
What Happens Next
After ordering, we will send your kit straight to you! Collect your samples with a quick swab
of the site (or sites), and mail it back to us in the provided prepaid envelope.
Your samples will travel to our office in San Francisco, where theyíll be run through our state-of-the-art DNA sequencing lab. Expect to get your results back 4-6 weeks after we receive your sample.
You will then receive access to a personal dashboard (app.ubiome.com) which breaks down the types and functions of bacteria found in your sample.
Here is where you can see your diversity score as well as learn, explore, and compare everything related to your bacteria.