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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010 Nov;31 Suppl 1:S35-7. doi: 10.1086/655999.

Detection of Clostridium difficile infection.

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School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1830 East Monument Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


There has been a recent surge of interest in Clostridium difficile infection, which reflects an impressive increase in the number and severity of these infections. This review addresses some of the newer methods for detection of C. difficile infection at the bedside and in the laboratory. Particularly important are the new rapid diagnostic tests that detect toxigenic C. difficile using polymerase chain reaction and the combination tests that, either simultaneously or sequentially, screen for C. difficile and test for toxins A and B. It is expected that these new testing methods will largely supplant the enzyme immunoassays for toxins, which are used by most laboratories, departments, and divisions. The present goal is to combine clinical, laboratory, and animal research related to C. difficile that reflects issues that are considered to be major contemporary challenges. Among this work is the pursuit of studies of immune mechanisms to better control this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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