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To describe and analyze a large outbreak of Clostridium difficile 027 (CD-027) infections.
Confirmed CD-027 cases were defined as CD infection plus real-time polymerase chain reaction assay (PCR) positive for CD-027. Clinical and microbiological data on patients with CD-027 infection were collected from January 2013 to December 2015 in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region (southeastern France).
In total, 19 healthcare facilities reported 144 CD-027 infections (112 confirmed and 32 probable CD-027 infections) during a 22-month period outbreak. Although the incidence rate per 10,000 bed days was lower in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) than in acute care facilities (0.05 vs 0.14; P<.001), cases occurred mainly in LTCFs, one of which was the probable source of this outbreak. After centralization of CD testing, the rate of confirmed CD-027 cases from LTCFs or residential-care homes increased significantly (69% vs 92%; P<.001). Regarding confirmed CD-027 patients, the sex ratio and the median age were 0.53 and 84.2 years, respectively. The 30-day crude mortality rate was 31%. Most patients (96%) had received antibiotics within 3 months prior to the CD colitis diagnosis. During the study period, the rate of patients with CD-027 (compared with all patients tested in the point-of-care laboratories) decreased significantly (P=.03).
A large CD-027 outbreak occurred in southeastern France as a consequence of an initial cluster of cases in a single LTCF. Successful interventions included rapid isolation and testing of residents with potentially infectious diarrhea and cohorting of case patients in a specialized infectious diseases ward to optimize management.