Clostridium difficile colonization among patients with clinically significant diarrhea and no identifiable cause of diarrhea

Erik R. Dubberke, Kimberly A. Reske, Tiffany Hink, Jennie H. Kwon, Candice Cass, Jahnavi Bongu, Carey Ann D. Burnham, Jeffrey P. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To determine the prevalence of Clostridium difficile colonization among patients who meet the 2017 IDSA/SHEA C. difficile infection (CDI) Clinical Guideline Update criteria for the preferred patient population for C. difficile testing.Design Retrospective cohort.Setting Tertiary-care hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.Patients Patients whose diarrheal stool samples were submitted to the hospital's clinical microbiology laboratory for C. difficile testing (toxin EIA) from August 2014 to September 2016.Interventions Electronic and manual chart review were used to determine whether patients tested for C. difficile toxin had clinically significant diarrhea and/or any alternate cause for diarrhea. Toxigenic C. difficile culture was performed on all stool specimens from patients with clinically significant diarrhea and no known alternate cause for their diarrhea.Results A total of 8,931 patients with stool specimens submitted were evaluated: 570 stool specimens were EIA positive (+) and 8,361 stool specimens were EIA negative (-). Among the EIA+stool specimens, 107 (19% of total) were deemed eligible for culture. Among the EIA- stool specimens, 515 (6%) were eligible for culture. One EIA+stool specimen (1%) was toxigenic culture negative. Among the EIA- stool specimens that underwent culture, toxigenic C. difficile was isolated from 63 (12%).Conclusions Most patients tested for C. difficile do not have clinically significant diarrhea and/or potential alternate causes for diarrhea. The prevalence of toxigenic C. difficile colonization among EIA- patients who met the IDSA/SHEA CDI guideline criteria for preferred patient population for C. difficile testing was 12%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1330-1333
Number of pages4
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Volume39
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

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