c. difficile

In Search of a Bad Bug

It all began with a medical puzzle. A severe diarrheal disease called pseudomembranous colitis, and later known as Clindamycin-induced colitis, had been observed by doctors since the 1890s. It spread dramatically with the rise of antibiotic use in the 20th century. In the mid-1970s, infectious disease specialist Sherwood Gorbach, M62, J84P, organized his research team at Tufts—including Te-Wen Chang, M84P, and John Bartlett—to look into what was causing the colitis.