Publications & Posters

Absence of Toxemia in Clostridioides difficile Infection: Results from Ultrasensitive Toxin Assay of Serum


Sprague R, Warny K, Pollock N, Daugherty K, Lin Q, Xu H, Cuddemi C, Barrett C, Chen X, Banz A, Lantz A, Garey KW, Gonzales-Luna AJ, Alonso CD, Galvez JAV and Kelly CP.

Dig Dis Sci (2020)


This study was peformed using a Simoa® Homebrew assay.


Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is caused by Toxins A and B, secreted from pathogenic strains of C. difficle. This infection can vary greatly in symptom severity and in clinical presentation. Current assays used to diagnose CDI may lack the required sensitivity to detect the exotoxins circulating in blood. The ultrasensitive single molecule array (Simoa) assay was modified to separately detect toxin A and toxin B in serum with a limit of detection at the low picogram level. When applied to a diverse cohort, Simoa was unable to detect toxins A or B in serum from patients with CDI, including many classified as having severe disease. The detection of toxin may be limited by the inference of antitoxin antibodies circulating in serum. This result does not support the hypothesis that toxemia occurs in C. difficile infection, conflicting with the findings of other published reports.