Clostridium difficile infection in solid organ transplant recipients

David J. Riddle, Erik R. Dubberke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To provide a general understanding of Clostridium difficile infection with a focus on recent publications that evaluate the disease in solid organ transplant recipients. RECENT FINDINGS: The incidence of C. difficile infection is increasing worldwide. Epidemics due to a hypervirulent C. difficile strain are associated with an escalating severity of disease. New evidence further supports basing initial treatment choice on disease severity. SUMMARY: C. difficile is a significant pathogen in solid organ transplant recipients. Multiple risk factors are found in this population that may result in more severe disease. A high index of suspicion is necessary for the early diagnosis and treatment of C. difficile infection in transplant recipients. Metronidazole and vancomycin show equivalent efficacy in the treatment for mild-to-moderate disease, but vancomycin has demonstrated superiority in the treatment of severe disease. Surgical intervention is also an important consideration in the treatment of solid organ transplant recipients with severe colitis. Rigorous infection control practices are essential for preventing the spread of C. difficile within the hospital environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-600
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent opinion in organ transplantation
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Keywords

  • Antibiotic-associated diarrhea
  • Clostridium difficile
  • Nosocomial infection
  • Pseudomembranous colitis
  • Solid organ transplant

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