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Clostridium difficile outbreaks: prevention and treatment strategies

Authors Martinez F, Leffler DA, Kelly CP

Received 23 June 2010

Accepted for publication 30 September 2010

Published 3 July 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 55—64


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Fernando J Martinez,1 Daniel A Leffler,2 Ciaran P Kelly2

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA; 2Department of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Abstract: The incidence and severity of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) have increased dramatically over the past decade. Its treatment, however, has largely remained the same with the exception of oral vancomycin use as a first-line agent in severe disease. From 1999 to 2004, 20,642 deaths were attributed to CDI in the United States, almost 7 times the rate of all other intestinal infections combined. Worldwide, several major CDI outbreaks have occurred, and many of these were associated with the NAP1 strain. This ‘epidemic’ strain has contributed to the rising incidence and mortality of CDI. The purpose of this article is to review the current management, treatment, infection control, and prevention strategies that are needed to combat this increasingly morbid disease.

Keywords: antibiotic, antimicrobial, infectious colitis, pseudomembranous colitis, nosocomial, iatrogenic, toxin, Clostridium difficile

A Letter to the Editor has been received and published for this article.

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