Inactivation of Clostridium difficile spore outgrowth by synergistic effects of nisin and lysozyme

Changhoon Chai, Kyung Soo Lee, Goo Sang Imm, Young Soon Kim, Se Wook Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Inactivating Clostridium difficile spores is difficult, as they are resistant to heat, chemicals, and antimicrobials. However, this note describes inactivation of C. difficile spore outgrowth by incubation in a solution containing a germinant (1% (m/v) sodium taurocholate), co-germinants (1% (m/v) tryptose and 1% (m/v) NaCl), and natural antimicrobials (20 nmol·L–1 nisin and 0.2 mmol·L–1 lysozyme). Clostridium difficile spores were resistant to nisin and lysozyme but became susceptible during germination and outgrowth triggered and promoted by sodium taurocholate, tryptose, and NaCl. The degree of inactivation of germinated and outgrowing C. difficile spores by both nisin and lysozyme was greater than the sum of that by nisin and lysozyme individually, suggesting synergistic inactivation of C. difficile spores. The germinant, co-germinants, and natural antimicrobials used in this study are safe for human contact and consumption. Therefore, these findings will facilitate the development of a safe and effective method to inactivate C. difficile spore.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-643
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Microbiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a program of High Valueadded Food Technology Development of Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (IPET) funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) (grant 313032-03-2-HD020). This study was also supported by 2016 Research Grant from Kangwon National University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Canadian Science Publishing. All rights reserved.


  • Clostridium difficile
  • Lysozyme
  • Nisin
  • Spore
  • Synergistic inactivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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