Analysis of the effect of Clostridioides difficile toxin on HCEC-1CT Cell Lines DUIRI - Discovery Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Research Internship Summer 2024 Accepted Host-pathogen interaction Clostridioides difficile, a Gram-positive, spore-forming, anaerobic bacterium, poses a global challenge. Functioning as an opportunistic pathogen, it can lead to severe colitis in both humans and animals. The disruptions in gut microbiota resulting from antibiotic treatments exacerbate infections associated with this bacterium and contribute to a widespread global concern. Toxin production in C. difficile infection (CDI) significantly adds to the complexity, fostering inflammation and potential damage to intestinal tissue, amplifying the severity of the issue on a global scale. The emergence of highly virulent strains of C. difficile underscores the urgent need for innovative therapeutic approaches worldwide, emphasizing the pressing nature of addressing CDI treatment. As a preventive strategy, understanding and identifying cell surface receptors facilitating toxin binding to host cells become critical to mitigate the consequences of C. difficile infections. In this project, using HCEC-1CT, a human colonic cell line, to evaluate cell viability and conduct a transcriptome analysis of C. difficile-induced apoptosis adds to the efforts in comprehending and addressing this global health problem. Deepti K Pillai The lab is actively engaged in several ongoing projects exploring various facets, including the impact of the host stress response on C. difficile virulence and the effects of C. difficile infection in vivo in the mice model. This project is anticipated to contribute significantly by addressing the gene expression patterns during CDI. GPA min 3.5, Freshman or sophomore with expertise in cell culture, anaerobe cultivation, and hands-on experience in bacteriology laboratory work. 7 30 (estimated)

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