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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2012 Jul;106(7):424-8. doi: 10.1016/j.trstmh.2012.04.005. Epub 2012 May 30.

Clostridium difficile and Entamoeba histolytica infections in patients with colitis in the Philippines.

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Division of Infectious Disease and International Health, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Amoebiasis is a common cause of non-specific colitis in the Philippines. The prevalence of Clostridium difficile infection with colitis is unknown. Empiric use of metronidazole for colitis treatment is widely practiced. We investigated the association of C. difficile or Entamoeba histolytica infection with endoscopically/histopathologically proven colitis among adults in the Philippines. Two hundred and ten patients undergoing colonoscopy were enrolled. Demographic and clinical data were reviewed. Stool specimens were assayed for C. difficile and E. histolytica by ELISA. Microscopy was performed. The mean age of the patients was 53 y (range: 19-88 y) and 53% were male. Colitis was diagnosed in 39 of 205 patients. Clostridium difficile, E. histolytica and parasites were seen in 17 (43.6%), 10 (25.6%) and 11 (28.2%), respectively, of patients with colitis compared with 36 (21.7%; p=0.005), 13 (7.8%; p=0.001) and 56 (33.7%; p=0.51), respectively, of those without colitis. Diarrhoea and antibiotic intake history were significantly more common among patients with colitis than those without (43.6% and 20.5% vs 18.1% and 5.4%; p=0.001 and p=0.006, respectively). The mean duration of diarrhoea was 2.53 d shorter among patients with colitis. The most frequent antibiotics taken were fluoroquinolones and metronidazole (50% and 40% of antibiotic courses, respectively, in patients with colitis). This study suggests that C. difficile infection is common and might be overlooked in settings where amoebiasis and intestinal parasitism are endemic.

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