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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2014 Jun;33(6):1045-51. doi: 10.1007/s10096-013-2043-1. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

Ribotype 027 Clostridium difficile infections with measurable stool toxin have increased lactoferrin and are associated with a higher mortality.

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Research and Development, TechLab, Inc., 2001 Kraft Drive, Blacksburg, VA, 24060, USA,


We evaluated clinical and diagnostic indicators of severe C. difficile infection (CDI) and their association with poor clinical outcome. A total of 210 patients positive according to PCR (toxin B: tcdB) were included, with patients having a median age of 62 years and a Charlson co-morbidity index (CI) score of 5. Ninety-one percent (n = 191) were positive by toxigenic culture and 61% (n = 129) had stool toxin. Toxin-positive patients had significantly higher fecal lactoferrin (mean 316 μg/g versus 106 μg/g stool; p < 0.0001). Forty percent of patients (n = 85) were infected with ribotype 027 and significantly more of these patients had measurable stool toxin (79% vs. 50%; p < 0.0001). The mean fecal lactoferrin was significantly higher for toxin-positive 027 CDI compared with the 027 toxin-negative group (317 vs 60 μg/g; p = 0.0014). Ribotype 027 CDI with stool toxin showed a higher all-cause, 100-day mortality compared with non-027 with stool toxin (36 % vs 18%; p = 0.017). Logistic regression univariate analysis for odds ratio (OR) and p values revealed that age (OR = 1.1), intensive care unit treatment (OR = 2.7), CI (OR = 1.2), 027 CDI (OR = 2.1), white blood cell count (OR = 1.0), albumin level (OR = 0.1), and stool toxin-positive 027 CDI (OR = 2.5) were significantly associated with 100-day mortality (p < 0.05). In conclusion, CDI PCR-positive patients with 027 infection and stool toxin have increased lactoferrin and are at an increased risk of death.

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