Non-toxigenic Clostridium sordellii: Clinical and microbiological features of a case of cholangitis-associated bacteremia

Seth T. Walk, Ruchika Jain, Itishree Trivedi, Sylvia Grossman, Duane W. Newton, Tennille Thelen, Yibai Hao, J. Glenn Songer, Glen P. Carter, Dena Lyras, Vincent B. Young, David M. Aronoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Toxigenic Clostridium sordellii strains are increasingly recognized to cause highly lethal infections in humans that are typified by a toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Two glucosylating toxins, lethal toxin (TcsL) and hemorrhagic toxin (TcsH) are believed to be important in the pathogenesis of TSS. While non-toxigenic strains of C. sordellii demonstrate reduced cytotoxicity in vitro and lower virulence in animal models of infection, there are few data regarding their behavior in humans. Here we report a non-TSS C. sordellii infection in the context of a polymicrobial bacterial cholangitis. The C. sordellii strain associated with this infection did not carry either the TcsL-encoding tcsL gene or the tcsH gene for TcsH. In addition, the strain was neither cytotoxic in vitro nor lethal in a murine sepsis model. These results provide additional correlative evidence that TcsL and TcsH increase the risk of mortality during C. sordellii infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-256
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Cholangitis
  • Clostridia
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Sepsis
  • Toxic shock syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases

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