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Acta Paediatr Scand. 1984 Jan;73(1):86-91.

Clostridium difficile in young children. Association with antibiotic usage.


Clostridium difficile was isolated from the stools of 11/52 (21%) of children aged 0 to 2 years hospitalized with diarrhoea, and from 17/52 (33%) of a control group of hospitalized children with no diarrhoea; this difference was not significant. Direct demonstration of C. difficile toxin from the stools was positive in 1 case with diarrhoea and in 5 control cases. The children with positive stool culture for C. difficile had had significantly more treatments with antibiotics or chemotherapeutics than those with negative C. difficile culture (3.3 +/- 2.7 vs. 1.6 +/- 1.8, p less than 0.001), but there was no significant difference in the incidence of diarrhoea in the past. During a 4-6-month follow-up, C. difficile disappeared from the stools of 24 out of 28 initially culture-positive children; 3 of the 4 children with persistent C. difficile had received antibiotics during the follow-up period. We conclude that the presence of C. difficile is common in the stools of young children up to the age of 2 years, and that C. difficile is more frequently found in children who have received antimicrobial therapy. Most cases of C. difficile carriage state are symptomless at this age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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