[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since publication of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America position paper on Clostridium difficile infection in 1995, significant changes have occurred in the epidemiology and treatment of this infection. C. difficile remains the most important cause of healthcare-associated diarrhea and is increasingly important as a community pathogen. A more virulent strain of C. difficile has been identified and has been responsible for more-severe cases of disease worldwide. Data reporting the decreased effectiveness of metronidazole in the treatment of severe disease have been published. Despite the increasing quantity of data available, areas of controversy still exist. This guideline updates recommendations regarding epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and infection control and environmental management.
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 03/2010; 31(5):431-55. DOI:10.1086/651706 · 4.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To date, no randomized trial to address the use of adjunctive rifampin in addition to metronidazole for the treatment of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea has been reported. Rifampin has excellent in vitro activity against C. difficile and penetrates into cellular materials where the organisms may persist.
This was a prospective, randomized, single-blinded study of 39 patients that compared therapy with metronidazole alone versus therapy with metronidazole and rifampin for 10 days to treat laboratory-confirmed primary episode C. difficile-associated diarrhea. Twenty patients were randomly assigned to the metronidazole group, and 19 were randomly assigned to the metronidazole and rifampin group. Data were analyzed by intention-to-treat analysis using the 2-tailed Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test.
Adjunctive rifampin treatment for 10 days, compared with treatment with metronidazole alone for 10 days, was associated with a similar median time to symptom improvement (9.0 days vs. 6.5 days; P=.74), a similar median time to first relapse (26 days vs. 16 days; P=.23), a similar proportion of patients with relapse by study day 40 (42% vs. 38%; P=1.0), and a similar proportion of patients experiencing nonfatal adverse events (37% vs. 40%; P=.55). There were a significantly higher number of deaths in the metronidazole and rifampin group, compared with the metronidazole group (6 of 19 patients vs. 1 of 20 patients; P=.04), but there were fewer laboratory-confirmed relapses by study day 40 (2 vs. 4; P=.66).
We conclude that there is no role for routine rifampin as an adjunct to treatment with metronidazole for hospitalized patients with C. difficile-associated diarrhea. The cure rates for both treatment groups remain unacceptably low, and better treatments are urgently needed.
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