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Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Sep 1;45 Suppl 2:S112-21.

Impact of a reduction in the use of high-risk antibiotics on the course of an epidemic of Clostridium difficile-associated disease caused by the hypervirulent NAP1/027 strain.

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Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.


A series of measures were implemented, in a secondary/tertiary-care hospital in Quebec, to control an epidemic of nosocomial Clostridium difficile-associated disease (n-CDAD) caused by a virulent strain; these measures included the development of a nonrestrictive antimicrobial stewardship program. Interrupted time-series analysis was used to evaluate the impact of these measures on n-CDAD incidence. From 2003-2004 to 2005-2006, total and targeted antibiotic consumption, respectively, decreased by 23% and 54%, and the incidence of n-CDAD decreased by 60%. No change in n-CDAD incidence was noted after strengthening of infection control procedures (P=.63), but implementation of the antimicrobial stewardship program was followed by a marked reduction in incidence (P=.007). This suggests that nonrestrictive measures to optimize antibiotic usage can yield exceptional results when physicians are motivated and that such measures should be a mandatory component of n-CDAD control. The inefficacy of infection control measures targeting transmission through hospital personnel might be a result of their implementation late in the epidemic, when the environment was heavily contaminated with spores.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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