Clostridioides difficile Whole-genome Sequencing Differentiates Relapse With the Same Strain From Reinfection With a New Strain

Janice Cho, Scott Cunningham, Meng Pu, Ryan J. Lennon, Jennifer Dens Higano, Patricio Jeraldo, Priya Sampathkumar, Samantha Shannon, Purna C. Kashyap, Robin Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Current approaches in tracking Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) and individualizing patient management are incompletely defined. METHODS: We recruited 468 subjects with CDI at Mayo Clinic Rochester between May and December 2016 and performed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) on C. difficile isolates from 397. WGS was also performed on isolates from a subset of the subjects at the time of a recurrence of infection. The sequence data were analyzed by determining core genome multilocus sequence type (cgMLST), with isolates grouped by allelic differences and the predicted ribotype. RESULTS: There were no correlations between C. difficile isolates based either on cgMLST or ribotype groupings and CDI outcome. An epidemiologic assessment of hospitalized subjects harboring C. difficile isolates with ≤2 allelic differences, based on standard infection prevention and control assessment, revealed no evidence of person-to-person transmission. Interestingly, community-acquired CDI subjects in 40% of groups with ≤2 allelic differences resided within the same zip code. Among 18 subjects clinically classified as having recurrent CDI, WGS revealed 14 with initial and subsequent isolates differing by ≤2 allelic differences, suggesting a relapse of infection with the same initial strain, and 4 with isolates differing by >50 allelic differences, suggesting reinfection. Among the 5 subjects classified as having a reinfection based on the timing of recurrence, 3 had isolates with ≤2 allelic differences between them, suggesting a relapse, and 2 had isolates differing by >50 allelic differences, suggesting reinfection. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings point to potential transmission of C. difficile in the community. WGS better differentiates relapse from reinfection than do definitions based on the timing of recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-813
Number of pages8
JournalClinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Volume72
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Keywords

  • Clostridioides difficile
  • Clostridium difficile
  • clinical outcomes
  • ribotype
  • whole-genome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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