The phenolic compound para-cresol, is bacteriostatic and has been used in sewage treatment plants to remove protozoa and metozoa. A handful of intestinal microorganisms are capable of producing p-cresol, including C. difficile, and a Lactobacillus strain. Production of p-cresol has a profound effect on the diversity of the normal intestinal microbiota, affecting homeostasis in the gut. We have identified a novel pathway in C. difficile for p-cresol production, however the mechanism of p-cresol tolerance is unclear. We aim to identify the mechanism behind p-cresol tolerance in C. difficile and the effects of p-cresol production on gut homeostasis.
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