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Rev Esp Quimioter. 2020 Apr;33(2):151-175. doi: 10.37201/req/2065.2020. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

Recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of Clostridioides difficile infection: An official clinical practice guideline of the Spanish Society of Chemotherapy (SEQ), Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI) and the working group of Postoperative Infection of the Spanish Society of Anesthesia and Reanimation (SEDAR).

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Emilio Bouza MD, PhD, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón, Servicio de Microbiología Clínica y E. Infecciosas C/ Dr. Esquerdo, 46 - 28007 Madrid, Spain.


This document gathers the opinion of a multidisciplinary forum of experts on different aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in Spain. It has been structured around a series of questions that the attendees considered relevant and in which a consensus opinion was reached. The main messages were as follows: CDI should be suspected in patients older than 2 years of age in the presence of diarrhea, paralytic ileus and unexplained leukocytosis, even in the absence of classical risk factors. With a few exceptions, a single stool sample is sufficient for diagnosis, which can be sent to the laboratory with or without transportation media for enteropathogenic bacteria. In the absence of diarrhoea, rectal swabs may be valid. The microbiology laboratory should include C. difficile among the pathogens routinely searched in patients with diarrhoea. Laboratory tests in different order and sequence schemes include GDH detection, presence of toxins, molecular tests and toxigenic culture. Immediate determination of sensitivity to drugs such as vancomycin, metronidazole or fidaxomycin is not required. The evolution of toxin persistence is not a suitable test for follow up. Laboratory diagnosis of CDI should be rapid and results reported and interpreted to clinicians immediately. In addition to the basic support of all diarrheic episodes, CDI treatment requires the suppression of antiperistaltic agents, proton pump inhibitors and antibiotics, where possible. Oral vancomycin and fidaxomycin are the antibacterials of choice in treatment, intravenous metronidazole being restricted for patients in whom the presence of the above drugs in the intestinal lumen cannot be assured. Fecal material transplantation is the treatment of choice for patients with multiple recurrences but uncertainties persist regarding its standardization and safety. Bezlotoxumab is a monoclonal antibody to C. difficile toxin B that should be administered to patients at high risk of recurrence. Surgery is becoming less and less necessary and prevention with vaccines is under research. Probiotics have so far not been shown to be therapeutically or preventively effective. The therapeutic strategy should be based, rather than on the number of episodes, on the severity of the episodes and on their potential to recur. Some data point to the efficacy of oral vancomycin prophylaxis in patients who reccur CDI when systemic antibiotics are required again.


Clostridium difficile; Bezlotoxumab; Clostridiodes difficile; Diarrhoea associated to C. difficile; Fecal Material Transplantation (FMT); Fidaxomicin; Metronidazole; Monoclonal antibodies; Probiotics; Vaccines; Vancomycin

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