Quantifying Bacterial Spore Germination by Impedance Flow Cytometry

Ampha Z32 Used as a Diagnostic Tool for the Determination of Host Susceptibility to CDI (Clostridioides difficile infection)

CDI can occur as a result of antibiotic administration and consequent impairment of the gut microbiome, providing best growth conditions to C. diffiicile. This gram-positive bacterium produces toxins that can lead to severe intestinal diseases. Even though C. difficile can be treated with specific antibiotics, its spores are resistant to that treatment and can survive in the intestine. Therefore, CDI recurrence is quite frequent (20-30%!) and due mainly to germination of the dormant spores into vegetative bacteria.

The group of Prof. Nathan Swami at the University of Virginia has impressively shown how it is possible to determine the predisposition for CDI by measuring the germination of C. difficile spores to vegetative bacteria using Amphasys’ Impedance Flow Cytometer (Ampha Z32) on ex vivo cultured samples. This method is much faster (4-5 hours) and more sensitive than conventional, microbiological techniques, which normally need 24 hours for a reliable determination of the microbiome susceptibility to C. difficile spore germination. This underlines the potential of Impedance Flow Cytometry (IFC) as a point-of-care screening tool for CDI-vulnerable patients.

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