Clostridium difficile phages: still difficult?

Overview of attention for article published in Frontiers in Microbiology, April 2014
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)
  • High score compared to outputs of the same age and source (95th percentile)

Mentioned by

18 tweeters
1 Wikipedia page
1 Google+ user

Readers on

38 Mendeley
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<i>Clostridium difficile</i> phages: still difficult?
Published in
Frontiers in Microbiology, April 2014
DOI 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00184
Pubmed ID

Hargreaves, Katherine Rose, Clokie, Martha Rebecca Jane


Phages that infect Clostridium difficile were first isolated for typing purposes in the 1980s, but their use was short lived. However, the rise of C. difficile epidemics over the last decade has triggered a resurgence of interest in using phages to combat this pathogen. Phage therapy is an attractive treatment option for C. difficile infection, however, developing suitable phages is challenging. In this review we summarize the difficulties faced by researchers in this field, and we discuss the solutions and strategies used for the development of C. difficile phages for use as novel therapeutics. Epidemiological data has highlighted the diversity and distribution of C. difficile, and shown that novel strains continue to emerge in clinical settings. In parallel with epidemiological studies, advances in molecular biology have bolstered our understanding of C. difficile biology, and our knowledge of phage-host interactions in other bacterial species. These three fields of biology have therefore paved the way for future work on C. difficile phages to progress and develop. Benefits of using C. difficile phages as therapeutic agents include the fact that they have highly specific interactions with their bacterial hosts. Studies also show that they can reduce bacterial numbers in both in vitro and in vivo systems. Genetic analysis has revealed the genomic diversity among these phages and provided an insight into their taxonomy and evolution. No strictly virulent C. difficile phages have been reported and this contributes to the difficulties with their therapeutic exploitation. Although treatment approaches using the phage-encoded endolysin protein have been explored, the benefits of using "whole-phages" are such that they remain a major research focus. Whilst we don't envisage working with C. difficile phages will be problem-free, sufficient study should inform future strategies to facilitate their development to combat this problematic pathogen.

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 38 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 5%
United Kingdom 1 3%
Spain 1 3%
Unknown 34 89%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 3 8%
Librarian 2 5%
Other 1 3%
Unknown 32 84%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Biological Sciences 31 82%
Medicine 4 11%
Engineering 1 3%
Unknown 2 5%

Score in context

This research output has an Altmetric score of 16. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This score was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 24 November 2014.
All research outputs
of 4,561,959 outputs
Outputs from Frontiers in Microbiology
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Outputs of similar age
of 109,598 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Frontiers in Microbiology
of 135 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 4,561,959 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,713 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little less attention than average, with a mean score of 2.9. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this score to the 109,598 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 135 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.