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J Hosp Infect. 1999 Dec;43(4):275-80.

Incidence of Clostridium difficile infection: a prospective study in an Indian hospital.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.


Clostridium difficile is the commonest cause of hospital-acquired diarrhoea. A prospective study comprising of 156 patients and 54 healthy controls was undertaken to assess C. difficile associated diarrhoea (CDAD) incidence in an Indian hospital. Methods used included C. difficile culture and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for Toxin A. Attempts were made to type isolates by antibiogram and SDS-PAGE. Of the 210 stool samples tested, 12 gave positive results in at least one assay. Of these, 11 were positive by the ELISA method, eight by culture, and seven by both methods. Neither the organisms nor the toxin was found in healthy controls or neonates. The average disease incidence of CDAD estimated by using both methods was 15%. Two antibiotypes of the isolates were obtained and of the isolates characterized by SDS-PAGE, two had identical patterns. This study shows that CDAD is an emerging problem in Indian hospitals. Monitoring should enable the development and implementation of policies and procedures that minimize the risk of this nosocomial pathogen.

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