This HAI isn't spread in the way previously believed: Study

Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine researchers found Clostridioides difficile infections have more to do with patient characteristics than hospital transmission and that the infection may not be spreading the way previously believed.

The study, published Sept. 18 in Nature Medicine, analyzed daily fecal samples from over 1,100 patients in the intensive care unit at Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center over a nine-month period. They found roughly 9 percent of patients were colonized with C. diff. Using whole genome sequencing, researchers compared the strains and found there were only six genomically supported transmissions identified over the study period, suggesting that most were not acquired in-hospital.

They found people who were already colonized had the greatest risk of transitioning into infection.

"Something happened to these patients that we still don’t understand to trigger the transition from C. diff hanging out in the gut to the organism causing diarrhea and the other complications resulting from infection," Evan Snitkin, PhD, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan, said in a system news release.

Researchers noted that hospital infection prevention measures were still effective in lowering transmission rates. They plan to use artificial intelligence next to predict patients at risk for C. diff infections.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars