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JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Oct 2;2(10):e1914149. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.14149.

Epidemiologic Trends in Clostridioides difficile Infections in a Regional Community Hospital Network.

Author information

1
Division of Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.
2
Duke Center for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention, Durham, North Carolina.
3
Duke University, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Durham, North Carolina.
4
Durham Veterans Affairs Health System, Durham, North Carolina.

Abstract

Importance:

Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) remains a leading cause of health care facility-associated infection. A greater understanding of the regional epidemiologic profile of CDI could inform targeted prevention strategies.

Objectives:

To assess trends in incidence of health care facility-associated and community-acquired CDI among hospitalized patients over time and to conduct a subanalysis of trends in the NAP1 strain of CDI over time.

Design, Setting, and Participants:

This long-term multicenter cohort study reviewed records of patients (N = 2 025 678) admitted to a network of 43 regional community hospitals primarily in the southeastern United States from January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2017. Generalized linear mixed-effects models were used to adjust for potential clustering within facilities and changing test method (nucleic acid amplification testing or toxin enzyme immunoassay) over time.

Main Outcomes and Measures:

Clostridioides difficile infection incidence rates were counted as cases per 1000 admissions for community-acquired and total CDI cases or cases per 10 000 patient-days for health care facility-associated CDI. Long-term trends in the proportion of cases acquired in the community and in NAP1 strain incidence were also evaluated.

Results:

A total of 2 025 678 admissions and 21 254 CDI cases were included (12 678 [59.6%] female; median [interquartile range] age, 69 [55-80] years). Median (interquartile range) total CDI incidence increased slightly from 7.9 (3.5-12.4) cases per 1000 admissions in 2013 to 9.3 (4.9-13.7) cases per 1000 admissions in 2017. After adjustment, the overall incidence of health care facility-associated CDI declined (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.995; 95% CI, 0.990-0.999; P = .03), whereas insufficient evidence was found for either an increase or a decrease in community-acquired CDI (IRR, 1.004; 95% CI, 0.999-1.009; P = .14). The proportion of cases classified as community acquired increased over time from a mean (SD) of 0.49 (0.28) in 2013 to 0.61 (0.26) in 2017 (odds ratio, 1.010 per month; 95% CI, 1.006-1.015; P < .001). Rates of the NAP1 strain of CDI varied widely between facilities, with no statistically significant change in NAP1 strain incidence over time in the community setting (IRR, 1.007; 95% CI, 0.994-1.021) or health care facility setting (IRR, 1.011; 95% CI, 0.990-1.032).

Conclusions and Relevance:

The findings suggest that, despite the modest improvement in health care facility-associated CDI rates, a better understanding of community-acquired CDI incidence is needed for future infection prevention efforts.

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