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UC study tests vaccine against bacteria

An experimental vaccine could be the newest weapon against a dangerous bacterial infection on the rise in hospitals and nursing homes around the United States.

Doctors at the University of Cincinnati and University Hospital are part of a national clinical trial testing a C. difficile - or C. diff - vaccine.

The experimental vaccine, developed by sanofi pasteurof Swiftwater, Pa., will be administered to at least 10 adults locally who've had a previous C. diff infection to prevent a recurrence, said Bruce Yacyshyn, the gastroenterologist heading up the local branch of the trial. Nationally, organizers hope to recruit 612 adults for the trial.

"C. diff is becoming a major healthcare problem in America, largely due to the use of antibiotics," Yacyshyn said.

C. difficile are bacteria that are naturally present in the digestive tract. But in some people - those with compromised immune systems, or those who've been on antibiotic therapy - they can grow out of control.

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