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J Korean Med Sci. 2011 Oct;26(10):1258-64. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2011.26.10.1258. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

Epidemiology and clinical characteristics of Clostridium difficile infection in a Korean tertiary hospital.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Guri, Korea.


In order to investigate the incidence, clinical and microbiologic characteristics of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Korea, a prospective observational study was performed. From September 2008 through January 2010, all patients whose stool was tested for toxin assay A&B and/or C. difficile culture were studied for clinical characteristics. Toxin types of the isolates from stool were tested. The mean incidence of CDI per 100,000 patient-days was 71.6 by month (range, 52.5-114.0), and the ratio of CDI to antibiotic-associated diarrhea was 0.23. Among 200 CDI patients, 37.5% (75/200) was severe CDI based on severity score. Clinical outcome of 189 CDI was as followed; 25.9% (49/189) improved without treatment, 84.3% (118/140) achieved clinical cure and attributed mortality was 0.7% (1/140) with the treatment. Recurrence rate was 21.4% (30/140) and cure without recurrence was 66.4% (93/140). The most common type of toxin was toxin A-positive/toxin B-positive strain (77.5%), toxin A-negative/toxin B-positive strains or binary toxin-producing strains comprised 15.4% or 7.1%, respectively. In conclusion, the incidence of CDI in Korea is a little higher than other reports during the non-epidemic setting. We expect that the change of epidemiology and clinical severity in CDI can be evaluated based on these results.


Clinical Characteristics; Clostridium difficile Infection; Incidence; Toxin Type

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