Clostridium difficile


Contact Precautions
Contact Precautions

General Information

Pathogen information

Anaerobic, spore-forming, large Gram-positive bacilli, box-car shaped


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.

Antacids, especially proton-pump inhibitors, and chemotherapy also increase risk.

Associated syndromes

Wide range of symptoms possible, and 15% are asymptomatic

Profuse, watery diarrhea

Pseudomembranous colitis or toxic megacolon

Normal colonizer in infants

Additional Information

Probiotics may be helpful. In refractory cases, Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) is indicated and, very frequently, curative.