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Clostridium Difficile Colitis (C. diff)

Clostridium difficile colitis results from disruption of normal healthy bacteria in the colon, often from antibiotics. C. difficile can also be transmitted from person to person by spores. It can cause severe damage to the colon and even be fatal.

People who have other illnesses or conditions requiring prolonged use of antibiotics, and the elderly, are at greater risk of acquiring this disease. The bacteria are found in the feces. People can become infected if they touch items or surfaces that are contaminated with feces and then touch their mouth or mucous membranes. Healthcare workers can spread the bacteria to patients or contaminate surfaces through hand contact. Therefore, this disease can also be spread to people who are frequently in the hospital or in medical offices.
Infections caused by C. diff are on the rise and resistance to antibiotics is a growing problem, so there is intense interest in a vaccine that could protect patients from the pathogen, which is a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Watery diarrhea (at least three bowel movements per day for two or more days)
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain/tenderness 

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