Tackling the recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection.
Med Mal Infect. 2018 Feb;48(1):18-22
Authors: Petrosillo N
The pathogenesis of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is still poorly understood. The risk of recurrence is approximately 20% after an initial CDI episode and dramatically increases with subsequent CDI recurrences. Several factors may play a role in recurrent CDI (rCDI), including conditions influencing germination, metabolic pathways that influence toxin production of C. difficile, and the microbiota composition offering protection against colonization and disease caused by C. difficile. Paradoxically, the currently recommended treatment for acute symptomatic CDI, i.e. metronidazole or vancomycin, can cause modification of the intestinal flora. Indeed, administration of anti-CDI antibiotics leads to suppression of C. difficile, along with collateral damage of the protective intestinal microbiota and opening of a "window of vulnerability" for recurrence. Host factors also have a prominent role, including innate and acquired humoral immunity, i.e. passive antibodies administration or active vaccination as a prevention strategy. They play a crucial role in the protection against severe and recurrent CDI. The assessment of risk factors of recurrence and modeling prediction scores could help in preventing the troublesome experience of CDI recurrence. Six studies have methodologically assessed prediction scores for rCDI. However, the definition of recurrence was heterogeneous, external validation was often not performed, and immunological factors were often not considered. There is a need for further studies on the pathophysiology of recurrence to design models for prediction that are sound and applicable in clinical practice.
PMID: 29336928 [PubMed - in process]