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Clostridium Difficile Infection

November 03, 2011  by: Dr. Simran Kaur  Points: 8   Category: Health  Earning $0.12   Views: 376

Infection is usually hospital acquired and becomes established when the normal colonic bacterial flora is disrupted by antibiotic treatment.

         

Clostridium difficile can be isolated from a variable proportion of patients and is thought be the cause in most cases.

Causes-

1. Infection is usually hospital acquired and becomes established when the normal colonic bacterial flora is disrupted by antibiotic treatment.

2. It can also occur, in debilitated patients who have not been exposed to antibiotics.

3. The organism produces two cytotoxic and inflammatory exotoxins, both of which contribute to virulence.

Symptoms-

1. People over 65 years of age are affected mostly.

2. Symptoms usually begin in the first week of antibiotic therapy but can occur at any time up to 6 weeks after treatment has finished.

3. Insidious onset.

4. Lower abdominal pain.

5. Diarrhea.

Investigations-

1. Sigmoidoscopy.

2. Biopsies.

3. Stool cultures.

4. Cell cytotoxicity assays.

Management-

1. Offending antibiotic should be stopped and the patient should be isolated.

2. Intravenous fluid.

3. Chemotherapy.

4. Intravenous immunoglobulin is sometimes given in the most severe cases.

5. Maintain hygiene.

6. Disinfection.




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