Infectious Diseases Clinic

 Infectious Diseases & travel Vaccination


Clostridium difficile

 Information for the patients


Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic bacterium, which can cause infection and inflammation of  a part or entire colon, defined as colitis. It causes profuse watery diarrhea most of the time so it is also known as Clostridium associated diarrhea or colitis ( CDAD/CDAC). 

Infected people complain of foul smelling watery diarrhea associated with or with our abdominal pain and fever.


There are many ways it can be diagnosed.
1.  Stool for C Diff toxin A and B; Stool for leukocytes.
2.  Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy with pathology.
3.  CT Scan of abdomen and pelvis with oral contrast.


There are multiple options available now:
There are three antibiotics are used to treat this condition
1. Metronidazole is the drug of choice.
2. Vancomycin orally (not intravenously) is one of the most effective medication of choice.
3. Fidaxomicin is another recently FDA approved medication to treat this condition.

Cholestyramine, an exchange resin is another drug, which is available to treat this condition. 

Probiotics are used for prevention, but their efficacy is not proven yet.

Stool transplant has been performed rarely  in some of the academic centers for the severe cases with success. 

Colectomy is performed in some of the severe and recurrent cases. 

If you have this condition, consider referral to an Infectious diseases or Gastroenterology consultation as soon as possible, as it can be life threatening in hours in some situations.

For further information, may visit CDC for one of the most reliable information on this condition.    Click here.


 FAQ (Source - CDC)

Download FAQs about Clostridium difficile Larger text poster for printing (English)  Adobe PDF file [PDF - 194
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Download FAQs about Clostridium difficile Larger text poster for printing (Spanish)  Adobe PDF file [PDF - 206 KB]
En español: Preguntas frecuentes "Clostridium difficile"   Adobe PDF file [PDF - 206 KB]  8.5" by 11"
flyer8.5" by 11" flyer

 Patients Can:
  •  Take antibiotics only as prescribed by your doctor. Antibiotics can be lifesaving medicines. 
  • Tell your doctor if you have been on antibiotics and get diarrhea within a few months.
  • Wash your hands after using the bathroom.
  • Try to use a separate bathroom if you have diarrhea, or be sure the bathroom is cleaned well if someone with diarrhea has used it.


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