Study identifies predictors of asymptomatic C. diff colonization

There are several risk factors healthcare providers can identify upon patient admission to predict asymptomatic Clostridium difficile colonization, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

The Quebec Consortium for Research on C. diff team collected and studied data on more than 5,200 patients from six hospitals in Quebec and Ontario over a 15-month span in 2006 and 2007.

Researchers obtained stool or rectal swab cultures from patients and measured the presence of antibody against two C. diff toxins (A and B), among other tests.

They found 212 patients, or roughly 4 percent, were colonized with C. diff upon being admitted to the hospital and nearly 80 percent of the patients who were colonized had a non-NAP1 strain as opposed to a non-NAP2 strain. The NAP designation of a C. diff strain is based on the North American pulsotype genotyping method.

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Researchers also found the following four predictors were associated with C. diff colonization upon admission.

  • Hospitalization within the last 12 months
  • Use of corticosteroids
  • Prior C. diff infection
  • Presence of antibody against toxin B

If providers identify these risk factors among asymptomatic C. diff carriers, they may be able to detect and provide targeted screenings for at-risk patients.

 

 

More articles on C. diff:
C. diff kills 15,000 Americans each year, CDC says
Researchers examine C. diff germination process in mice to find treatment
Faxton St. Luke's Healthcare reduces C. diff 39% thanks to UV light system

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