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Hosp Pract (1995). 2012 Feb;40(1):139-48. doi: 10.3810/hp.2012.02.954.

Clostridium difficile colitis: a review.

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Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, USA.


Clostridium difficile has become an increasingly important nosocomial pathogen and is one of the most common causes of hospital-acquired diarrhea. The incidence of C difficile infection (CDI) is increasing worldwide. Overuse of antibiotics is felt to be a major contributing factor leading to the increased incidence of CDI. The clinical manifestations of CDI vary from a mild form of the disease to fulminant diarrhea, leading to significant patient morbidity and mortality. The increasing incidence of CDI has a major impact on increasing health care costs. This article will summarize the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, laboratory diagnosis, and treatment options for CDI, as well as infection-control measures for the prevention of CDI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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