FACTORS FACILITATING EMERGENCE

  • probably increased sexual activity

Clostridium difficile

DISEASE(S) AND SYMPTOMS

Clostridium difficile colitis

  • antibiotic-associated colitis

  • pseudomembranous colitis

  • watery diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain

DIAGNOSIS

  • detection of C. difficile toxin in the stool

  • visualization of characteristic pseudomembranes during endoscopy of colon

INFECTIOUS AGENT

  • Clostridium difficile, a toxin-producing bacterium

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

  • fecal-oral transmission

  • acquisition of organism from the environment

DISTRIBUTION

  • worldwide

  • an estimated 3 percent of healthy adults carry the organism in the gut

INCUBATION PERIOD AND COMMUNICABILITY

  • colitis typically begins during, or shortly after, antibiotic administration (changes in gastrointestinal tract flora due to antibiotic use allow proliferation of the organism and its production of toxins)

TREATMENT

  • discontinuation of aggravating antibiotic treatment if possible

  • antibacterial agents: metronidazole, vancomycin, bacitracin

PREVENTION AND CONTROL

  • avoidance of unnecessary antibiotic administration

FACTORS FACILITATING EMERGENCE

  • immunosuppression

  • increased recognition



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