Clostridium difficile (klos-TRID-e-um dif-uh-SEEL), often called C. difficile or C. diff, is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon.
Illness from C. difficile most commonly affects older adults in hospitals or in long-term care facilities and typically occurs after use of antibiotic medications. However, studies show increasing rates of C. difficile infection among people traditionally not considered high risk, such as younger and healthy individuals without a history of antibiotic use or exposure to health care facilities.
Each year, more than a half million people get sick from C. difficile, and in recent years, C. difficile infections have become more frequent, severe and difficult to treat.
Jul. 16, 2013
- Khanna S, et al. Clostridium difficile infection: New insights into treatment. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2012;87:1106.
- Rebmann T, et al. Preventing Clostridium difficile infections: An executive summary of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology's elimination guide. American Journal of Infection Control. 2011;39:239.
- LaMont JT. Clostridium difficile in adults: Epidemiology, microbiology, and pathophysiology. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 25, 2013.
- Kelly CP, et al. Clostridium difficile in adults: Treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 25, 2013.
- Frequently asked questions about Clostridium difficile for healthcare providers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/organisms/cdiff/Cdiff_faqs_HCP.html. Accessed March 25, 2013.
- Headley CM. Deadly diarrhea: Clostridium difficile infection. Nephrology Nursing Journal. 2012;30:459.
- LaMont JT. Clostridium difficile in adults: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 25, 2013.
- Surawicz CM, et al. Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Clostridium difficile infections. The American Journal of Gastroenterology. In press. Accessed March 25, 2013.
- Armstrong GD, et al. A potential new tool for managing Clostridium difficile infection. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. In press. Accessed March 25, 2013.
- Venugopal AA, et al. Current state of Clostridium difficile treatment options. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2012;55:S71.
- Vancomycin hydrochloride. Micromedex Healthcare Series. http://www.micromedex.com. Accessed March 27, 2013.
- Fidaxomicin. Micromedex Healthcare Series. http://www.micromedex.com. Accessed March 27, 2013.
- Van Nood E, et al. Duodenal infusion of donor feces for recurrent Clostridium difficile. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;368:407.
- Diarrhea. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diarrhea/#treated. Accessed March 27, 2013.
- Clostridium difficile and C. difficile toxin testing. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/cdiff/tab/test. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- Public workshop: Fecal microbiota for transplantation. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/NewsEvents/WorkshopsMeetingsConferences/ucm341643.htm. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- Steckelberg JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 16, 2013.
- Khanna S, et al. The epidemiology of community-acquired Clostridium difficile infection: A population-based study. The American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2012;107: 89.
- Khanna S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 17, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.