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Gastroenterology. 2009 May;136(6):1899-912. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2008.12.070. Epub 2009 May 7.

Treatment of Clostridium difficile-associated disease.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


Clostridium difficile infection is an increasing burden to the health care system, totaling more than $1 billion/year in the United States. Treatment of patients with C difficile infection with metronidazole or vancomycin reduces morbidity and mortality, although the number of patients that do not respond to metronidazole is increasing. Despite initial response rates of greater than 90%, 15%-30% of patients have a relapse in symptoms after successful initial therapy, usually in the first few weeks after treatment is discontinued. Failure to develop specific antibody response has recently been identified as a critical factor in recurrence. The review discusses the different management strategies for initial and recurrent symptomatic C difficile infections.

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