Researchers debunk myth about the most severe C. diff strain

Researchers recently conducted a multicenter observational cohort study to examine the condition severity and the clinical outcomes of patients with different Clostridium difficile strains. The results of the study were published by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

The study — which used data from more than 700 patients at seven hospitals in the Houston area — found that no single genetic strain of the C. diff bacteria is any more harmful than other strains. These findings contradict previous research that suggested the most severe C. diff infections could be linked with a particular strain known as Ribotype 027, or R027.

"Clinical severity markers of CDI, such as white blood cell count and albumin level, a protein in blood, are more important predictors of severe outcomes than any specific strain, especially in hospitals with no single predominant strain," said lead author of the study Samuel L. Aitken, PharmD.

Despite the findings, Dr. Aitken maintains that strain typing is still a valuable source of information for tracking the emergence of different strains and for potentially influencing treatment decisions.



More articles on Clostridium difficile:
25 things for healthcare CFOs to know about HAIs
Which 9 hospitals reported zero C. diff and MRSA infections?
Infection preventionists approve 11 C. diff prevention recommendations

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