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Clostridioides difficile Infection: Landscape and Microbiome Therapeutics.

Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea and is common in the community. Both younger individuals who may be healthy otherwise and older individuals with comorbid conditions are at risk for developing CDI, with the predominant risk factor being antibiotic use. Unlike other gastrointestinal infections, CDI is not self-limited, requires antimicrobial therapy, and tends to recur at high rates even without additional risk factor exposure. The goals of CDI management include controlling active symptoms and using a recurrence prevention strategy such as a narrow-spectrum antibiotic, tapered and pulsed regimens, antibody- based therapies (directed against toxin B), or microbiome restoration. In recent years, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been the most used modality to prevent recurrent CDI with high cure rates. Heterogeneity, lack of scalability, and serious adverse events from FMT have led to development of standardized microbiota restoration therapies (MRTs). The US Food and Drug Administration has approved 2 stool-derived MRTs for prevention of recurrent CDI: fecal microbiota, live-jslm, an enema-based therapy; and fecal microbiota spores, live-brpk, an oral therapy. A phase 3 trial for a synthetic oral MRT is underway. This article outlines the pathophysiology and treatment of CDI, focusing primarily on the gut microbiome and standardized MRTs.

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