The challenge of Clostridium difficile infection: Overview of clinical manifestations, diagnostic tools and therapeutic options.
Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2015 Nov 3;
Authors: Postma N, Kiers D, Pickkers P
The most important infectious cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and colitis is Clostridium difficile, which is a Gram-positive, anaerobic, spore-forming, toxin-producing bacillus. In this overview we will discuss the diagnostic and therapeutic management of patients presenting with suspected or proven C. difficile infection (CDI). The clinical spectrum varies from asymptomatic C. difficile carriers to fulminant colitis with multi-organ failure. The onset of symptoms is usually within 2 weeks after initiation of antibiotic treatment. Diagnosis is based on the combination of clinical symptoms and either a positive stool test for C. difficile toxins or endoscopic or histological findings of pseudomembranous colitis. There is no indication for treatment of asymptomatic carriers, but patients with proven CDI should be treated. Treatment consists of cessation of the provoking antibiotic treatment, secondary prevention by infection control strategies, and treatment with metronidazole or vancomycin. Treatment of recurring CDI, severe infection, the need for surgery, and novel alternative potential treatment strategies will be discussed. The concurrent increase in multiresistant colonisation and increasing numbers of asymptomatic carriers of C. difficile will lead to an increase of the situation in which patients with severe infections, treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics, will develop concurrent severe CDI. We will discuss possible therapy strategies for these patients.
PMID: 26612229 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]