Clostridium difficile infection
This is an overview of infection with the Clostridium difficile bacterium commonly referred to as C difficile or simply c diff, the human digestive tract is home to an estimated 500 to 1000 different species of microorganisms, most of which are harmless or even helpful and live together in harmony.
But if something upsets the balance of these bacteria, such as treatment antibiotics, or cancer chemotherapy, certain harmful organisms can multiply out of control and cause illness.
Clostridium difficile infection or CDI for short is an example of this, CDI is a bacterial infection that causes diarrhea, which can sometimes be debilitating and other intestinal symptoms by inflaming, the colon causing something known as colitis when the guts beneficial bowel bacteria are disrupted, the c-diff bacterium can multiply producing toxins that damage the bowel, and cause intestinal symptoms in very severe cases C diff infection can even result in death a person might Harbor the c-diff bacteria in their gut, but do not become sick because the beneficial bacteria in their intestines keep it in check however there are a few risk factors that when present might to varying degrees increase the chance of contracting c diff infection, these include being older than 65 years of age, taking antibiotics especially over a prolonged period of time, having a severe underlying illness being in an immune compromised state receiving chemotherapy, to treat cancer taking proton pump inhibitors, to reduce stomach acid having had a previous episode of CDI, having a prolonged hospital or care home stay, because there you have an increased risk of being exposed to the bacterium.
A recurrent case of CDI can be defined as a return of symptoms, with lab confirmation of C diff infection after successful treatment, the first time most of these recurrences occur within one to eight weeks, in other words recurrence means the pairen Singh more than one episode even after the previous episode has been cured , this is a major challenge as recurrent CDI can cause a large burden of disease, to patients and society unfortunately CDI F is a resourceful bacterium, it forms spores that are resistant to antibiotics and too many alcohol based cleaning agents which allows the bacterium and its spores to last on surfaces, for months each episode of CDI increases the likelihood of a subsequent episode.
CDI is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitals, and long-term care facilities. in fact patients often develop the infection after going to the hospital, or other healthcare setting to receive treatment for another ailment. this is because the c-diff bacterium and its spores are found in high amounts in feces of infected people who can then spread the infection to surfaces, such as food or other objects especially if they don't wash their hands properly after using the toilet, and if proper cleaning protocols are not in place in healthcare facilities, a person might not have any symptoms and still be able to spread seed if bacteria others could become infected if they touch these contaminated surfaces, then do not wash their hands thoroughly and subsequently ingest, the bacteria or spores despite the efforts hospitals go through to combat c-diff, many are still experiencing outbreaks, some hospitals have incorporated novel technology to help clean rooms, such as using ultraviolet lights that kill bacteria left after conventional cleaning, while others have greatly enhanced infectious control measures that in diligent hand washing programs, however effective treatment for CDF remains an important element in managing the challenges associated with these infections in the hospital, the most important aspect of the infection is the profound impact, it has on a patient's quality of life in addition to the painful physical effects and lifestyle consequences.
CDF might also have a significant emotional impact, it can be as uncomfortable to discuss as it is to manage the most commonly used treatments for CDF are antibiotics since, CDF is intrinsically resistant to many types of antibiotics, which is why it survives when antibiotics kill other bacteria researchers have been looking for more effective treatments, studies looking at therapies to address the role of the immune system in treating or preventing c-diff infection are underway one promising option, when other treatments fail is fecal transplantation which works by fixing the balance of microorganisms in the gut, by introducing bacteria from a non infected person's gut, if you or someone you know is suffering from cluster DIMM difficile infection, there are resources available to help ease the situation, speak to your health care provider about available treatments, including those that are newer and address the issue of recurrence so that you can find optimal care.