C. diff carriers who show no symptoms can up infection risk in other hospitalized patients

Asymptomatic carriers of toxigenic C. difficile in hospitals increase the risk of infection for other patients, according to a study published in Gastroenterology

Researchers performed population-based prospective cohort study at two university hospitals in Denmark. They screened all patients for toxigenic C. difficile in the intestine upon admission, from Oct. 1, 2012, to Jan. 31, 2013.

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The C. diff infection was detected in 2.6 percent of patients not exposed to carriers and in 4.6 percent of patients exposed to carriers who showed no symptoms. The amount of exposure correlated with risk of C. diff infection — from 2.2 percent infected in the lowest quartile of exposed patients to 4.2 percent in the highest quartile.

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