Clostridium difficile

General Information

Anaerobic spore forming gram positive bacilli, box-car shaped

Nosocomial more common than community onset diarrhea usually after taking antibiotics.

Can occur in outbreaks.

Recurrence is very common therefore previous history of C. difficile is a risk factor.

Antacids, especially proton-pump inhibitors, and chemotherapy also increase risk.

Wide range of symptoms possible

  • Profuse, watery diarrhea

  • Pseudomembranous colitis or toxic megacolon

Probiotics may be helpful.

In refractory cases, stool transplants have been effective.