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In adults with Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), higher stool concentrations of toxins A and B are associated with severe baseline disease, CDI-attributable severe outcomes, and recurrence. We evaluated whether toxin concentration predicts these presentations in children with CDI.
We conducted a prospective cohort study of inpatients aged 2–17 years with CDI who received treatment. Patients were followed for 40 days after diagnosis for severe outcomes (intensive care unit admission, colectomy, or death, categorized as CDI primarily attributable, CDI contributed, or CDI not contributing) and recurrence. Baseline stool toxin A and B concentrations were measured using ultrasensitive single-molecule array assay, and 12 plasma cytokines were measured when blood was available.
We enrolled 187 pediatric patients (median age, 9.6 years). Patients with severe baseline disease by IDSA-SHEA criteria (n = 34) had nonsignificantly higher median stool toxin A+B concentration than those without severe disease (n = 122; 3,217.2 vs 473.3 pg/mL; P = .08). Median toxin A+B concentration was nonsignificantly higher in children with a primarily attributed severe outcome (n = 4) versus no severe outcome (n = 148; 19,472.6 vs 429.1 pg/mL; P = .301). Recurrence occurred in 17 (9.4%) of 180 patients. Baseline toxin A+B concentration was significantly higher in patients with versus without recurrence: 4,398.8 versus 280.8 pg/mL (P = .024). Plasma granulocyte colony-stimulating factor concentration was significantly higher in CDI patients versus non-CDI diarrhea controls: 165.5 versus 28.5 pg/mL (P < .001).
Higher baseline stool toxin concentrations are present in children with CDI recurrence. Toxin quantification should be included in CDI treatment trials to evaluate its use in severity assessment and outcome prediction.
We investigated the quality of life (QoL) of patients hospitalized with C. difficile infection (CDI).
Prospective survey study.
US tertiary-care referral center, acute-care setting.
Adults hospitalized with a diagnosis of CDI, defined as ≥3 episodes of unformed stool in 24 hours and a positive laboratory test for C. difficile.
We surveyed patients from July 2019 to March 2020 using the disease-specific Cdiff32 questionnaire and the generic PROMIS GH survey. We compared differences in Cdiff32 scores among demographic and clinical subgroups (including CDI severity, CDI recurrence, and various comorbidities) using 2-sample t tests. We compared PROMIS GH scores to the general population T score of 50 using 1-sample t tests. We performed multivariable linear regression to identify predictors of Cdiff32 scores.
In total, 100 inpatients (mean age, 58.6 ±17.1 years; 53.0% male; 87.0% white) diagnosed with CDI completed QoL surveys. PROMIS GH physical health summary scores (T = 37.3; P < .001) and mental health summary scores (T = 43.4; P < .001) were significantly lower than those of the general population. In bivariate analysis, recurrent CDI, severe CDI, and number of stools were associated with lower Cdiff32 scores. In multivariable linear regression, recurrent CDI, severe CDI, and each additional stool in the previous 24 hours were associated with significantly decreased Cdiff32 scores.
Patients hospitalized with CDI reported low scores on the Cdiff32 and PROMIS GH, demonstrating a negative impact of CDI on QoL in multiple health domains. The Cdiff32 questionnaire is particularly sensitive to QoL changes in patients with recurrent or severe disease.
This article describes a CDI outbreak in a long-term care (LTC) facility that used molecular typing techniques and whole-genome sequencing to identify widespread dissemination of the clonal strain in the environment which was successfully removed after terminal cleaning.
This study was conducted in a long-term care facility in Texas.
A recently hospitalized LTC patient was diagnosed with CDI followed shortly thereafter by 7 subsequent CDI cases. A stool specimen was obtained from each patient for culturing and typing. An environmental point-prevalence study of the facility was conducted before and after terminal cleaning of the facility to assess environmental contamination. Cultured isolates were typed using ribotyping, multilocus variant analysis, and whole-genome sequencing.
Stool samples were available for 5 of 8 patients; of these specimens, 4 grew toxigenic C. difficile ribotype 027. Of 50 environmental swab samples collected throughout the facility prior to the facility-wide terminal cleaning, 19 (38%) grew toxigenic C. difficile (most commonly ribotype 027, 79%). The terminal cleaning was effective at reducing C. difficile spores in the environment and at eradicating the ribotype 027 strain (P<.001). Using multilocus variance analysis and whole-genome sequencing, clinical and environmental strains were highly related and, in some cases, were identical.
Using molecular typing techniques, we demonstrated reduced environmental contamination with toxigenic C. difficile and the eradication of a ribotype 027 clone. These techniques may help direct infection control efforts and decrease the burden of CDI in the healthcare system.
Patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) have frequent exposure to Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) risk factors but the incidence and aetiology of CDI on this population is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence, disease presentation and outcomes of CDI in patients with underlying CLD. The Health Care and Utilization Project National Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS) 2009 dataset was used to identify patients with CLD who developed CDI along with matched non-CLD patients with CDI. Using the NIS dataset, the incidence rate of CDI was 189.4/10 000 discharges in CLD patients vs. 83.7/10 000 discharges in the non-CLD matched cohort (P < 0.001). Compared with non-CLD, comorbidity-matched controls with CDI, CLD patients with CDI had higher likelihood of in-hospital mortality (8.8% vs. 18.6%, P < 0.001), increased length of stay by 1.19 days (P < 0.001) and increased total costs by $8632 (P < 0.001). In separate analyses using a tertiary case database of hospitalised patients in Houston, Texas (2006–2016) with CLD and CDI (n = 41) compared with patients with CDI but not CLD (n = 111), CLD patients had significantly higher Charlson comorbidity index (P < 0.0001) but similar risk factors for CDI and CDI-related disease presentation compared with non-CLD patients. In conclusion, CDI-related risk factors were almost universally present in the CLD population. CDI resulted in worse outcomes in this population.
Conflicting reports have been published on the association between Clostridium difficile ribotypes and severe disease outcomes in patients with C. difficile infection (CDI); several so-called hypervirulent ribotypes have been described. We performed a multicenter study to assess severe disease presentation and severe outcomes among CDI patients infected with different ribotypes.
Stool samples that tested positive for C. difficile toxin were collected and cultured from patients who presented to any of 7 different hospitals in Houston, Texas (2011–2013). C. difficile was characterized using a fluorescent PCR ribotyping method. Medical records were reviewed to determine clinical characteristics and ribotype association with severe CDI presentation (ie, leukocytosis and/or hypoalbuminemia) and severe CDI outcomes (ie, ICU admission, ileus, toxic megacolon, colectomy, and/or in-hospital death).
Our study included 715 patients aged 61±18 years (female: 63%; median Charlson comorbidity index: 2.5±2.4; hospital-onset CDI: 45%; severe CDI: 36.7%; severe CDI outcomes: 12.3%). The most common ribotypes were 027, 014-020, FP311, 002, 078-126, and 001. Ribotype 027 was a significant independent predictor of severe disease (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.53–3.29; P<.001) and severe CDI outcomes (aOR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.02–2.85; P=.041) compared with all other ribotypes in aggregate. However, in an analysis using all common ribotypes as individual variables, ribotype 027 was not associated with severe CDI outcomes more often than other ribotypes.
Ribotype 027 showed virulence equal to that of other ribotypes identified in this endemic setting. Clinical severity markers of CDI may be more predictive of severe CDI outcomes than a particular ribotype.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1318–1323
To evaluate the accuracy of real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for Clostridium difficile–associated disease (CDAD) detection, after hospital CDAD rates significantly increased following real-time PCR initiation for CDAD diagnosis.
Hospital-wide surveillance study following examination of CDAD incidence density rates by interrupted time series design.
Large university-based hospital.
Hospitalized adult patients.
CDAD rates were compared before and after real-time PCR implementation in a university hospital and in the absence of physician and infection control practice changes. After real-time PCR introduction, all hospitalized adult patients were screened for C. difficile by testing a fecal specimen by real-time PCR, toxin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and toxigenic culture.
CDAD hospital rates significantly increased after changing from cell culture cytotoxicity assay to a real-time PCR assay. One hundred ninety-nine hospitalized subjects were enrolled, and 101 fecal specimens were collected. C. difficile was detected in 18 subjects (18%), including 5 subjects (28%) with either definite or probable CDAD and 13 patients (72%) with asymptomatic C. difficile colonization.
The majority of healthcare-associated diarrhea is not attributable to CDAD, and the prevalence of asymptomatic C. difficile colonization exceeds CDAD rates in healthcare facilities. PCR detection of asymptomatic C. difficile colonization among patients with non-CDAD diarrhea may be contributing to rising CDAD rates and a significant number of CDAD false positives. PCR may be useful for CDAD screening, but further study is needed to guide interpretation of PCR detection of C. difficile and the value of confirmatory tests. A gold standard CDAD diagnostic assay is needed.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(6):667–673
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