is a gram-positive, spore-forming
bacillus that causes an infectious diarrhea. It is found
in stool and can survive on surfaces for a long time. C.
difficile can be transmitted in healthcare settings from
person-to-person, or by a contaminated environment
and/or patient care equipment. Some people may be
asymptomatic carriers of C. difficile.
Use of antibiotics are the most important risk factor in developing
C. difficile infection (CDI), as antibiotics disrupt the normal intestinal microbiome and allow C. difficile spores to release toxins that cause moderate-to severe symptoms. Advanced age, previous hospitalization, underlying disease severity, and gastric acid suppression are other risk factors.
CDI can be prevented within healthcare settings by