Clinical Characteristics and Outcome of Patients with Clostridium difficile Infection Diagnosed by PCR versus a Three-Step Algorithm.
Clin Microbiol Infect. 2014 May 11;
Authors: Beaulieu C, Dionne LL, Julien AS, Longtin Y
Clinical features of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) detected by PCR, but not by conventional methods, are poorly understood. We compared the clinical features of CDI cases detected by PCR only and cases detected by both PCR and a three-step algorithm. We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients fulfilling a standardized definition over a 13-month period. Stool specimens were tested in parallel by PCR and an algorithm based on enzyme immunoassay and cytotoxicity assay (EIA/CCA). Clinical features of CDI cases detected by PCR only and cases detected by PCR and EIA/CCA were compared by univariate logistic regression. 97 patients (31 PCR+ and 66 PCR+ EIA/CCA+) met the inclusion criteria. Compared to cases detected by both PCR and EIA/CCA, CDI cases detected by PCR only were younger (65.4 vs. 76.3 years; P = .001), had a lower absolute neutrophil count (mean, 9.4 vs. 12.5 X 10(9) /L; P = .04), were less likely to receive oral vancomycin (2/31 vs. 25/66; P =.005) or combination therapy (0/31 vs. 16/66; P = .04), and had less complications (6/31 vs. 29/66; P = .02), despite presenting a higher number of bowel movements on the day of diagnosis (median, 6.0 vs. 3.0; P = .02). They had also a lower C. difficile fecal bacterial load (mean, 5.04 vs. 6.89 log10 CFU/g; P < .001). CDI cases detected by PCR only and cases detected by both PCR and EIA/CCA have different clinical features, but whether these two populations can be managed differently remains to be determined. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 24813402 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]