Anaerobic spore forming gram positive bacilli
Nosocomial > 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. Proton-pump inhibitors, and chemotherapy also increase risk.
Normal colonizer in infants less than 1 year.
Wide range of symptoms possible, and 15% are asymptomatic
Profuse, watery diarrhea
Pseudomembranous colitis or toxic megacolon
Contact precautions to be discontinued only by IPAC
Do not send formed stool for testing. Repeat testing will not be done within 7 days of a prior specimen. Test of cure not indicated.
Bacterial spores persist in the environment.
In refractory cases, stool transplants have been effective
Stools for C. difficile toxin testing will not be processed in infants less than or equal to 1 year of age