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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2019 Sep 16:1-7. doi: 10.1017/ice.2019.236. [Epub ahead of print]

Hospital-level high-risk antibiotic use in relation to hospital-associated Clostridioides difficile infections: Retrospective analysis of 2016-2017 data from US hospitals.

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Becton, Dickinson and Co., Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
Nabriva Therapeutics US, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.



Antibiotics are widely used by all specialties in the hospital setting. We evaluated previously defined high-risk antibiotic use in relation to Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs).


We analyzed 2016-2017 data from 171 hospitals. High-risk antibiotics included second-, third-, and fourth-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, carbapenems, and lincosamides. A CDI case was a positive stool C. difficile toxin or molecular assay result from a patient without a positive result in the previous 8 weeks. Hospital-associated (HA) CDI cases included specimens collected >3 calendar days after admission or ≤3 calendar days from a patient with a prior same-hospital discharge within 28 days. We used the multivariable Poisson regression model to estimate the relative risk (RR) of high-risk antibiotic use on HA CDI, controlling for confounders.


The median days of therapy for high-risk antibiotic use was 241.2 (interquartile range [IQR], 192.6-295.2) per 1,000 days present; the overall HA CDI rate was 33 (IQR, 24-43) per 10,000 admissions. The overall correlation of high-risk antibiotic use and HA CDI was 0.22 (P = .003), and higher correlation was observed in teaching hospitals (0.38; P = .002). For every 100-day (per 1,000 days present) increase in high-risk antibiotic therapy, there was a 12% increase in HA CDI (RR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04-1.21; P = .002) after adjusting for confounders.


High-risk antibiotic use is an independent predictor of HA CDI. This assessment of poststewardship implementation in the United States highlights the importance of tracking trends of antimicrobial use over time as it relates to CDI.


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