C-difficile Animal Health Vaccine


C. difficile is known to infect horses, pigs, cattle and dogs1 and anti-microbial drugs are not considered a sustainable long term solution to eliminating disease, similar to the situation in humans. Certain strains of C. difficile have been considered indistinguishable between humans and other mammals suggesting that animals may be a reservoir for this pathogen. We have developed a vaccine for C. difficile for use in humans and we are interested in investigating its use in animals.


Cell surface polysaccharides (PSI and PSII) from highly virulent C. difficile ribotype 027, have been conjugated to CRM197 and tested in mice2,3. Both of the de novo PSI and PSII are highly immunogenic, and PS-II appears to be common to all strains of C. difficile, which suggests that PS-II may be an excellent broad based vaccine target for this pathogen. 


  • Patented composition of matter (PSI and PSII)
  • PSI and PSII can be produced by chemical synthesis4,5
  • PSII generates high IgG antibody titers in mice2
  • Has been conjugated to a proven carrier protein (CRM197)
  • Vaccine targets pathogen outer carbohydrate coating 


  • Equine medicine to prevent colitis and enteritis
  • Porcine and bovine medicine to prevent economic losses in food animal production
  • Canine medicine to reduce the risk of animal to human transmission

Research Status

Researchers have combined PSII with other proteins from other enteric pathogens to form multi-pathogen and multivalent second generation vaccines
We need an industry partner to advance our animal vaccine program.

Patent Status

Issued in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe Canada, China and United States.

License Status 

Seeking licensee for animal vaccine.


David Hobson, dhobson@uoguelph.ca 519-824-4120 x58859


1 Gould and Limbago, Clinical Infectious Disease 51, (2010) 557-582.

2 Ganeshapillai et al. Carbohydrate Research 343 (2008) 703-710.

3 Cappelletti et al. Glycoconjugate Journal 28 (2011) 265.

4 Danieli et al. Organic Letters 13 (2011) 378-381.

5 Martin et al. Chemical Communications 47 (2011) 10260-10262.