Diarrhoea in general practice: when should a Clostridium difficile infection be considered? - results of a nested case control study.
Clin Microbiol Infect. 2014 Jul 7;
Authors: Hensgens MP, Dekkers OM, Demeulemeester A, Buiting AG, Bloembergen P, van Benthem BH, Le Cessie S, Kuijper EJ
OBJECTIVE: Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) are frequent in hospitals, but also seem to increase in the community. Here, we aim at determining the incidence of CDI in general practice and at evaluating current testing algorithms for CDI.
METHODS: Three Dutch laboratories tested all unformed faeces (12,714) for C. difficile when diagnostic testing (for any enteric pathogen) was requested by a general practitioner (GP). Additionally, a nested case control study was initiated, including 152 CDI patients and 304 age and sex matched controls. Patients were compared using weighted multivariable logistic regression.
RESULTS: 194 samples (1.5%) were positive for C. difficile (incidence 0.67/10,000 patient years). This incidence was comparable to that of Salmonella spp.. Compared to diarrhoeal controls, CDI was associated with more severe complaints, underlying diseases, antibiotic use and prior hospitalization. In our study, GPs requested a test for C. difficile in 7% of the stool samples, hereby detecting 40% of all CDI. Dutch national recommendations advise to test for C. difficile when prior antibiotic use or hospitalization is present (18% of samples). If these recommendations were followed, 61% of all CDI would have been detected.
CONCLUSION: C. difficile is relatively frequent in general practice. Currently, testing for C. difficile is rare and only 40% of CDI in general practice is detected. Following recommendations that are based on traditional risk factors for CDI, would improve detection of CDI. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25040463 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]