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Clostridium difficile

Clostridium difficile

Precautions

Contact Precautions

Susceptibilities

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.

Risk factors include: advanced age, hospitalization, prior or concomitant systemic antibacterial therapy, cancer chemotherapy, gastrointestinal surgery. Antacids, especially proton-pump inhibitors, also increase risk.

Wide range of symptoms possible

  • Profuse, watery diarrhea
  • Pseudomembranous colitis or toxic megacolon

Probiotics may be helpful.

In refractory cases, stool transplants have been effective.

Limit the number of systemic antibiotics used and duration of antibiotic therapy.