Clostridium difficile


Contact Enteric

General Information

Anaerobic spore forming gram positive bacilli, box-car shaped

Nosocomial more common than community onset diarrhea usually after taking antibiotics.

Can occur in outbreaks.

Recurrence is very common therefore previous history of C. difficile is a risk factor.

Antacids, especially proton-pump inhibitors, and chemotherapy also increase risk.

Wide range of symptoms possible.

  • Profuse, watery diarrhea

  • Pseudomembranous colitis or toxic megacolon

  • Ileus

  • Sepsis

  • It is unclear if Probiotics are helpful for primary or secondary prevention. Avoid use in patients who are immunosuppressed and in those with active fulminant CDI.

  • In refractory cases, stool transplants have been effective.

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