Current strategies for management of initial Clostridium difficile infection.
ABSTRACT In the past decade, an epidemic strain of Clostridium difficile has led to increased incidence and severity of nosocomial C. difficile infections (CDI). Responsiveness to standard antimicrobial care for this strain is declining, and the morbidity and mortality of CDI and recurrent CDI are rising. Effective management requires a coordinated effort among all members of the healthcare team to facilitate early identification of patients at risk for CDI, early recognition of disease onset and confirmatory testing, prompt initiation of the most appropriate management approach, and ongoing monitoring throughout the continuum of care. Hospitalists, as coordinators of patient care, are in an ideal position to ensure that patients receive prompt and optimal treatment based on current clinical evidence and severity of the disease.
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ABSTRACT: Episodes of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) are difficult to treat for several reasons. Foremost, data are lacking to support any particular treatment strategy. In addition, treatment of recurrent episodes is not always successful, and repeated, prolonged treatment is often necessary. Identification of subgroups at risk for recurrent CDI may aid in diagnosing and treating these patients. Two likely mechanistic factors increasing the risk of recurrent CDI are an inadequate immune response to C. difficile toxins and persistent disruption of the normal colonic flora. Important epidemiologic risk factors include advanced age, continuation of other antibiotics, and prolonged hospital stays. Current guidelines recommend that the first recurrent episode be treated with the same agent (i.e., metronidazole or vancomycin) used for the index episode. However, if the first recurrence is characterized as severe, vancomycin should be used. A reasonable strategy for managing a subsequent episode involves tapering followed by pulsed doses of vancomycin. Other potentially effective strategies for recurrent CDI include vancomycin with adjunctive treatments, such as Saccharomyces boulardii, rifaximin "chaser" therapy after vancomycin, nitazoxanide, fecal transplantation, and intravenous immunoglobulin. New treatment agents that are active against C. difficile, but spare critical components of the normal flora, may decrease the incidence of recurrent CDI.The Journal of infection 05/2009; 58(6):403-10. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Antibiotic-associated diarrhea and colitis were well established soon after antibiotics became available. Early work implicated Staphylococcus aureus, but in 1978 Clostridium difficile became the established pathogen in the vast majority of cases. In the first 5 years (1978 through 1983), the most common cause was clindamycin, the standard diagnostic test was the cytotoxin assay, and standard management was to withdraw the implicated antibiotic and treat with oral vancomycin. Most patients responded well, but 25% relapsed when vancomycin was withdrawn. During the next 20 years (1983 through 2003), the most commonly implicated antibiotics were the cephalosporins, which reflected the rates of use; the enzyme immunoassay replaced the cytotoxin assay because of speed of results and technical ease of performance; and metronidazole replaced vancomycin as standard treatment, and principles of containment hospitals became infection control and antibiotic control. During the recent past (2003 to 2006), C. difficile has been more frequent, more severe, more refractory to standard therapy, and more likely to relapse. This pattern is widly distributed in the United States, Canada, and Europe and is now attributed to a new strain of C. difficile designated BI, NAP1, or ribotype 027 (which are synonymous terms). This strain appears more virulent, possibly because of production of large amounts of toxins, and fluoroquinolones are now major inducing agents along with cephalosporins, which presumably reflects newly acquired in vitro resistance and escalating rates of use. The recent experience does not change principles of management of the individual patient, but it does serve to emphasize the need for better diagnostics, early recognition, improved methods to manage severe disease and relapsing disease, and greater attention to infection control and antibiotic restraint.Annals of internal medicine 12/2006; 145(10):758-64. · 13.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Prevention of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a substantial therapeutic challenge. A previous prospective study of 63 patients with CDI identified risk factors associated with recurrence. This study aimed to develop a prediction rule for recurrent CDI using the above derivation cohort and prospectively evaluate the performance of this rule in an independent validation cohort. The clinical prediction rule was developed by multivariate logistic regression analysis and included the following variables: age>65 years, severe or fulminant illness (by the Horn index), and additional antibiotic use after CDI therapy. A second rule combined data on serum concentrations of immunoglobulin G (IgG) against toxin A with the clinical predictors. Both rules were then evaluated prospectively in an independent cohort of 89 patients with CDI. The clinical prediction rule discriminated between patients with and without recurrent CDI, with an area under the curve of the receiver-operating-characteristic curve of 0.83 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.70-0.95) in the derivation cohort and 0.80 (95% CI: 0.67-0.92) in the validation cohort. The rule correctly classified 77.3% (95% CI: 62.2%-88.5%) and 71.9% (95% CI: 59.2%-82.4%) of patients in the derivation and validation cohorts, respectively. The combined rule performed well in the derivation cohort but not in the validation cohort (area under the curve of the receiver-operating-characteristic curve, 0.89 vs 0.62; diagnostic accuracy, 93.8% vs 69.2%, respectively). We prospectively derived and validated a clinical prediction rule for recurrent CDI that is simple, reliable, and accurate and can be used to identify high-risk patients most likely to benefit from measures to prevent recurrence.Gastroenterology 12/2008; 136(4):1206-14. · 12.82 Impact Factor