Medline ® Abstracts for References 4,34,38,39
of 'Clostridium difficile infection in adults: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis'
Clinical practice guidelines for Clostridium difficile infection in adults: 2010 update by the society for healthcare epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the infectious diseases society of America (IDSA).
Cohen SH, Gerding DN, Johnson S, Kelly CP, Loo VG, McDonald LC, Pepin J, Wilcox MH, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, Infectious Diseases Society of America
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010;31(5):431.
Since publication of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America position paper on Clostridium difficile infection in 1995, significant changes have occurred in the epidemiology and treatment of this infection. C. difficile remains the most important cause of healthcare-associated diarrhea and is increasingly important as a community pathogen. A more virulent strain of C. difficile has been identified and has been responsible for more-severe cases of disease worldwide. Data reporting the decreased effectiveness of metronidazole in the treatment of severe disease have been published. Despite the increasing quantity of data available, areas of controversy still exist. This guideline updates recommendations regarding epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and infection control and environmental management.
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious and Immunologic Diseases, University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California, USA.
Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea and colitis.
Gerding DN, Johnson S, Peterson LR, Mulligan ME, Silva J Jr
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1995;16(8):459.
OBJECTIVES: To review and summarize the status of diagnosis, epidemiology, infection control, and treatment of Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD).
DIAGNOSIS: A case definition of CDAD should include the presence of symptoms (usually diarrhea) and at least one of the following positive tests: endoscopy revealing pseudomembranes, stool cytotoxicity test for toxin B, stool enzyme immunoassay for toxin A or B, or stool culture for C difficile (preferably with confirmation of organism toxicity if a direct stool toxin test is negative or not done). Testing of asymptomatic patients, including those who are asymptomatic after treatment, is not recommended other than for epidemiologic purposes. Lower gastrointestinal endoscopy is the only diagnostic test for pseudomembranous colitis, but it is expensive, invasive, and insensitive (51% to 55%) for the diagnosis of CDAD. Stool culture is the most sensitive laboratory test currently in clinical use, but it is not as specific as the cell cytotoxicity assay.
EPIDEMIOLOGY: C difficile is the most frequently identified cause of nosocomial diarrhea. The majority of C difficile infections are acquired nosocomially, and most patients remain asymptomatic following acquisition. Antimicrobial exposure is the greatest risk factor for patients, especially clindamycin, cephalosporins, and penicillins, although virtually every antimicrobial has been implicated. Cases of CDAD unassociated with prior antimicrobial or antineoplastic use are very rare. Hands of personnel, as well as a variety of environmental sites within institutions, have been found to be contaminated with C difficile, which can persist as spores for many months. Contaminated commodes, bathing tubs, and electronic thermometers have been implicated as sources of C difficile. Symptomatic and asymptomatic infected patients are the major reservoirs and sources for environmental contamination. Both genotypic and phenotypic typing systems for C difficile are available and have enhanced epidemiologic investigation greatly.
INFECTION CONTROL: Successful infection control measures designed to prevent horizontal transmission include the use of gloves in handling body substances and replacement of electronic thermometers with disposable devices. Isolation, cohorting, handwashing, environmental disinfection, and treatment of asymptomatic carriers are recommended practices for which convincing data of efficacy are not available. The most successful control measure directed at reduction in symptomatic disease has been antimicrobial restriction.
TREATMENT: Treatment of symptomatic (but not asymptomatic) patients with metronidazole or vancomycin for 10 days is effective; metronidazole may be preferred to reduce risk of vancomycin resistance among other organisms in hospitals. Recurrence of symptoms occurs in 7% to 20% of patients and is due to both relapse and reinfection. Over 90% of first recurrences can be treatedsuccessfully in the same manner as initial cases. Combination treatment with vancomycin plus rifampin or the addition orally of the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii to vancomycin or metronidazole treatment has been shown to prevent subsequent diarrhea in patients with recurrent disease.
Veterans Affairs Lakeside Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Does my patient have Clostridium difficile infection?
Peterson LR, Robicsek A
Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(3):176.
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) seems to be changing-with increasing virulence and incidence, more resistance to metronidazole, and worse outcomes. Accurate diagnosis is critical, but 3 common misconceptions lead to misdiagnosis: Clostridium difficile infection is a possibility when the patient has fewer than 3 loose stools per day; the glutamate dehydrogenase test for CDI is sensitive and thus is a good initial test; and repeating an insensitive laboratory test for CDI is useful. These misconceptions can lead to missed diagnoses (for example, when tests with low sensitivity are used) and to false diagnoses (for example, when tests are done in patients who are unlikely to have CDI because they have minimal diarrhea or negative results on recent tests). Diagnoses of CDI will be more accurate if clinicians use tests with a higher sensitivity, reduce the frequency of testing for a single episode of diarrhea, and give more attention to key elements of the patient's history.
Northwestern University and NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, Illinois 60201, USA. email@example.com
Utility of perirectal swab specimens for diagnosis of Clostridium difficile infection.
Kundrapu S, Sunkesula VC, Jury LA, Sethi AK, Donskey CJ
Clin Infect Dis. 2012;55(11):1527. Epub 2012 Aug 21.
For 139 patients tested for Clostridium difficile infection by polymerase chain reaction, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of testing perirectal swabs vs stool specimens were 95.7%, 100%, 100%, and 99.1%, respectively. For selected patients, perirectal swabs provide an accurate toxigenic C. difficile detection strategy.
Department of Medicine, Infectious Diseases Division, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.