Clostridium difficile

(Redirected from C dif)

This page is for adult patients; for pediatric patients see clostridium difficile (peds).

Background

Pseudomembranous colitis with yellow pseudomembranes seen on the wall of the sigmoid colon.
  • Clostridium is a genus of gram-positive bacteria
  • Most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitalized patients
  • Use contact isolation if suspect
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not reduce spores, but good hand washing does[1]

Risk factors for Pseudomembranous Colitis

  • Recent antibiotic use (any)
  • GI surgery
  • Severe underlying medical illness
  • Chemo
  • Elderly

Clinical Features

Varies according to severity and intrinsic host factors (immunosuppression, etc.).

  • Profuse watery diarrhea
    • Usually develops after 7-10 days of antibiotics use or within 2 weeks of discontinuation
  • History of risk factor(s) (see Background)
  • May report diffuse abdominal pain/cramping
  • At the extreme, may present with sepsis secondary to intestinal perforation or toxic megacolon

Differential Diagnosis

Acute diarrhea

Infectious

Noninfectious

Watery Diarrhea

Traveler's Diarrhea

Evaluation

Pseudomembranous colitis from C. difficile on abdominal CT demonstratin diffuse colonic wall thickening and a shaggy endoluminal contour.
Pseudomembranous colitis with (A) Accordion sign in transverse colon (thin arrows). (B) Colonic wall thickness, target sign (thick arrow), peritoneal fluid (thin arrow) and pericolonic fat stranding (arrowhead).

Workup

  • Consider testing patients with unexplained and new-onset ≥3 unformed stools within 24 hours[3]
  • Institutions should have an agreed protocol using a stool toxin test as part of a multistep algorithm (e.g. glutamate dehydrogenase [GDH] plus toxin; GDH plus toxin, arbitrated by nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT])
    • or NAAT plus toxin) rather than a NAAT alone for all specimens received in the clinical laboratory when there are no preagreed institutional criteria for patient stool submission (Figure 2) (weak recommendation, low quality of evidence).


  • C. diff toxin assay
    • Sn 63-94%, Sp 75-100%
  • Culture
    • Positive culture only means C. diff present, not necessarily that it is causing disease


Testing Algorithm

For patients with suspected Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD)

  • Low suspicion
    • Send stool for C. diff toxin assay
      • Positive → treat (no further testing indicated)
      • Negative → do not treat (no further testing indicated)
  • High suspicion
    • Send stool for C. diff toxin assay AND treat empirically
      • Positive → treat (no further testing indicated)
      • Negative → Consider discussion with ID (false negative tests may occur); eval for other causes of diarrhea

Repeat testing

  • Never a need for repeat testing within 7 days of a previous test
  • NO NEED to repeat positive tests as symptoms resolve as a “test of cure”
  • NO NEED to repeat test soon after initial negative test (more likely to be a false positive test than a true positive test)

Severe Criteria[4][5]

Management

Asymptomatic

  • No diagnostic testing or treatment required[6]

Mild

  • Either discontinue offending antibiotics (if possible) or give metronidazole 500mg PO q6hr x10-14d

Moderate

Severe

See criteria above (Evaluation section)

  • Vancomycin 125-250mg PO q6hr x10d (IV form is not effective)
  • Add Metronidazole 500mg IV q6hr if ileus or patient cannot tolerate PO
  • Consider emergency colectomy if:

Recurrent Infection

Relapse occurs in 10-25% of patients

  • Occurs <=4 weeks after the completion of therapy
    • Otherwise consider other (more common) causes
  • 1st recurrence: same agent as used to treat initial episode (antimicrobial resistance is not clinically problematic)
  • 2nd recurrence: tapered vancomycin with pulse doses
  • 3rd recurrence: PO vancomycin 10-14 days followed immediately by rifaximin "chaser" 400mg TID x20 days [7]
  • Other options:
    • IVIG
    • Fecal transplant
    • Fidaxomicin 200mg BID x10 days noninferior to PO vancomycin, and reduces recurrences at 4 weeks after treatment (~15% vs 25%) [8]

Disposition

  • Admit:
    • Severe diarrhea
    • Outpatient antibiotic failure
    • Systemic response (fever, leukocytosis, severe abdominal pain)


Antibiotic Sensitivities[9]

Category Antibiotic Sensitivity
Penicillins Penicillin G X2
Penicillin V X1
Anti-Staphylocccal Penicillins Methicillin X1
Nafcillin/Oxacillin X1
Cloxacillin/Diclox. X1
Amino-Penicillins AMP/Amox X1
Amox-Clav X1
AMP-Sulb X2
Anti-Pseudomonal Penicillins Ticarcillin X1
Ticar-Clav X1
Pip-Tazo X1
Piperacillin X2
Carbapenems Doripenem X2
Ertapenem X2
Imipenem X2
Meropenem X2
Aztreonam R
Fluroquinolones Ciprofloxacin R
Ofloxacin X1
Pefloxacin X1
Levofloxacin R
Moxifloxacin R
Gemifloxacin X1
Gatifloxacin R
1st G Cephalo Cefazolin X1
2nd G. Cephalo Cefotetan X1
Cefoxitin R
Cefuroxime X1
3rd/4th G. Cephalo Cefotaxime R
Cefizoxime R
CefTRIAXone X1
Ceftaroline X1
CefTAZidime X1
Cefepime R
Oral 1st G. Cephalo Cefadroxil X1
Cephalexin X1
Oral 2nd G. Cephalo Cefaclor/Loracarbef X1
Cefproxil X1
Cefuroxime axetil X1
Oral 3rd G. Cephalo Cefixime X1
Ceftibuten X1
Cefpodox/Cefdinir/Cefditoren X1
Aminoglycosides Gentamicin R
Tobramycin R
Amikacin R
Chloramphenicol I
Clindamycin X1
Macrolides Erythromycin X1
Azithromycin X1
Clarithromycin X1
Ketolide Telithromycin X1
Tetracyclines Doxycycline X1
Minocycline X1
Glycylcycline Tigecycline X1
Daptomycin X1
Glyco/Lipoclycopeptides Vancomycin S
Teicoplanin S
Telavancin S
Fusidic Acid X1
Trimethoprim X1
TMP-SMX X1
Urinary Agents Nitrofurantoin X1
Fosfomycin X1
Other Rifampin X1
Metronidazole S
Quinupristin dalfoppristin I
Linezolid I
Colistimethate X1

See Also

References

  1. Leffler DA and Lamont JT. Clostridium difficile Infection. N Engl J Med. 2015; 372:1539-1548.
  2. Marx et al. “Cholera and Gastroenteritis caused by Noncholera Vibrio Species”. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine 8th edition vol 1 pg 1245-1246.
  3. Clinical Practice Guidelines for Clostridium difficile Infection in Adults and Children: 2017 Update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) McDonald CL, et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 66, Issue 7, 1 April 2018, Pages e1–e48, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/cix1085
  4. IDSA Guidelines PDF
  5. ACG Guidelines for Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention of Clostridium difficile Infections http://gi.org/guideline/diagnosis-and-management-of-c-difficile-associated-diarrhea-and-colitis/
  6. Bagdasarian, N, et al. Diagnosis and Treatment of Clostridium difficile in Adults. JAMA. 2015; 313(4):398-408.
  7. Melville NA. Rifaximin 'Chaser' Reduces C difficile Recurrent Diarrhea. June 07, 2011. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/744157
  8. Louie TJ et al. Fidaxomicin versus Vancomycin for Clostridium difficile Infection. N Engl J Med 2011; 364:422-431.
  9. Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy 2014

Authors:

Ross Donaldson