Clostridium difficile


Contact Precautions
Contact Precautions

General Information

Pathogen information

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.

Associated syndromes

Wide range of symptoms possible, and 15% are asymptomatic

Profuse, watery diarrhea

Pseudomembranous colitis or toxic megacolon

Additional Information

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