Pathogénèse des infections à Clostridium difficile, interactions hôte-pathogène et développement d'agents thérapeutiques novateurs

Chercheurs-boursiers- Junior 2 | Concours 2012-2013

Louis-Charles Fortier

Université de Sherbrooke


Domaine : Maladies infectieuses et immunitaires

Clostridium difficile is the main cause of antibiotic-associated nosocomial diarrhea. The severity and mortality associated with C. difficile infections (CDI) have risen dramatically over the last decade, but the reason for this epidemiological change in unclear. In addition, the current treatments are very limited and their efficacy is questionable.
The long-term objective of my research program is to better understand the process of C. difficile infection, and to identify factors that influence the susceptibility to CDI and relapse. I will also seek to develop novel therapeutic agents to fight C. difficile.
During the next 4 years, I propose to i) study the genetic diversity of C. difficile and the role of prophages (i.e. virus integrated in the bacterial genome) in the biology and virulence of this pathogen, ii) study the impact of antibiotics on the intestinal microflora and on the susceptibility to CDI, iii) to study chemotaxis, i.e. the capacity of a bacterium to move in its environment to find nutrients or to escape from unfavorable conditions, motility (capacity to move) and virulence of C. difficile and finally iv) develop novel antibiotics against a new cellular target composed of RNA, i.e. the molecule that transports the genetic information. 

Data obtained throughout this program will enable a better comprehension of the biology and virulence of C. difficile and the factors that cause CDI. In addition, the data obtained will eventually help better prevent and treat CDI.