Entry of spores into intestinal epithelial cells contributes to recurrence of Clostridioides difficile infection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Pablo Castro-Córdova
  • Paola Mora-Uribe
  • Rodrigo Reyes-Ramírez
  • Glenda Cofré-Araneda
  • Josué Orozco-Aguilar
  • Christian Brito-Silva
  • María José Mendoza-León
  • Nigel P. Minton
  • Marjorie Pizarro-guajardo
  • Daniel Paredes-Sabja

Colleges, School and Institutes


Clostridioides difficile spores produced during infection are important for the recurrence of the disease. Here, we show that C. difficile spores gain entry into the intestinal mucosa via pathways dependent on host fibronectin-α5β1 and vitronectin-αvβ1. The exosporium protein BclA3, on the spore surface, is required for both entry pathways. Deletion of the bclA3 gene in C. difficile, or pharmacological inhibition of endocytosis using nystatin, leads to reduced entry into the intestinal mucosa and reduced recurrence of the disease in a mouse model. Our findings indicate that C. difficile spore entry into the intestinal barrier can contribute to spore persistence and infection recurrence, and suggest potential avenues for new therapies.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1140
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2021