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Infect Drug Resist. 2013 Jun 28;6:41-53. doi: 10.2147/IDR.S24434. Print 2013.

Emerging therapies for Clostridium difficile infection - focus on fidaxomicin.

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Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.


The epidemiology of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) has evolved during the last decades, with an increase in the reported incidence, severity of cases, and rate of mortality and relapses. These increases have primarily affected some special populations including the elderly, patients requiring concomitant antibiotic therapy, patients with renal failure, and patients with cancer. Until recently, the treatment of CDI was limited to either metronidazole or vancomycin. New therapeutic options have emerged to address the shortcomings of current antibiotic therapy. Fidaxomicin stands out as the first-in-class oral macrocyclic antibiotic with targeted activity against C. difficile and minimal collateral damage on the normal colonic flora. Fidaxomicin has demonstrated performance not inferior to what is considered the "gold standard" available therapy for CDI, vancomycin, in two separate Phase III clinical trials, but with significant advantages, including fewer recurrences and higher rates of sustained clinical cures. Fidaxomicin constitutes an important development in targeted antibiotic therapy for CDI and must be considered as a first-line agent for patients with risk factors known to portend relapse and severe infection.


CDAD; Clostridium difficile infection (CDI); Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea; fidaxomicin; metronidazole; vancomycin

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