Risk Factors for Asymptomatic C. difficile Colonization

Risk Factors for Asymptomatic C. difficile Colonization

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Patients with asymptomatic C. difficile colonization are gaining attention as a potential source of transmission. Scientists at the Cleveland Clinic recently conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 19 studies published between 1975 and 2020 in order to evaluate the risk factors for asymptomatic C. difficile colonization among adults.

The researchers identified 4 risk factors that were significantly associated with an increased risk for colonization. These included hospitalization within the previous 6 months, the use of gastric acid suppression therapy within the previous 8 weeks, tube feeding within the previous 8 weeks, and corticosteroid use within the previous 8 weeks. Interestingly, receiving treatment with antibiotics in the previous 3 months was not a significant risk factor.

The team hopes that awareness of these potential risk factors will aid healthcare providers in early detection of asymptomatic C. difficile carriers. This would allow for appropriate infection control measures to reduce transmission, including close monitoring of known carriers for the development of infection.

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