Cultures for Clostridium difficile in stools containing a cytotoxin neutralized by Clostridium sordellii antitoxin

S. H. Willey, J. G. Bartlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Stools from patients with antibiotic-associated diarrhea or colitis were cultured to detect the presence of Clostridium difficile. All specimens contained a cytotoxin which was neutralized by Clostridium sordellii antitoxin. Initial testing employed several methods with comparative merits in recovering this organism. These included the use of nonselective media, antibiotic-incorporated media, alcohol shock, and paracresol-containing broth. Optimal results were achieved with primary plating of serial dilutions onto a selective agar containing cycloserine and cefoxitin. This technique was then employed in a large number of specimens. The overall results showed that C. difficile was recovered in specimens from 71 to 73 patients. All isolates of c. difficile produced a cytotoxin which was neutralized by C. sordellii antitoxin in vitro. These results verify the utility of this medium and support the concept that C. difficile accounts for the cytotoxin found in stools in nearly all cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)880-884
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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