Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Deadly Stomach Infection Rising In Community Settings, Study Finds

Date:
October 28, 2009
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Researchers have found that a sometimes deadly stomach bug, Clostridium difficile, is on the rise in outpatient settings. Clostridium difficile is a serious bacteria that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon.

Mayo Clinic researchers have found that a sometimes deadly stomach bug, Clostridium difficile, is on the rise in outpatient settings. Clostridium difficile is a serious bacteria that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. These findings were presented October 26 at the 2009 American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Related Articles


Clostridium difficile, often called C. difficile or "C. diff," is a bacterium that is resistant to some antibiotics and is most often contracted by the elderly in hospitals and nursing homes.

"Recent reports have shown increasing incidence and severity of C. difficile infection -- especially in the older population," says Darrell Pardi, M.D., Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and senior author on the study. "Our study examines why the cases are on the rise and who is getting the infection."

In this population-based study, researchers studied 385 cases of C. difficile bacterial infection from 1991-2005 to determine how many cases were hospital-acquired versus community-acquired infections. Of the cases, 192 were hospital-acquired and 35 were residents of nursing homes. Of these hospital-acquired cases, the median age of infection was 72 years; in contrast, 158 cases were community-acquired and the median age was 50 years. Thirty-five percent of the hospital infections had a severe illness compared to 22 percent of community infections who had a severe illness.

The patients with community-acquired infection were also less likely than the hospital-acquired group to have been exposed to antibiotics before their infection. Thus, many of the community-acquired infections lacked the traditional risk factors for infection, namely recent hospitalization and exposure to antibiotics.

There were no differences between community- and hospital-acquired infections in terms of what patients were treated with (primarily metronidazole), response rates, or recurrence rates after treatment.

"We are seeing more cases of C. difficile in the community, but they tend to be less severe and in a younger population," says Dr. Pardi. "The growing incidence of C. difficile infection in both inpatient and outpatient settings could be linked to the increasing usage of antibiotics and to the possibility that C. difficile may be getting resistant to some of our newer antibiotics."

There are hundreds of kinds of bacteria found normally in the intestines. Many play beneficial roles in the body. When a patient takes an antibiotic to treat an infection, it often destroys beneficial bacteria as well as the bacteria that are causing the illness. Without enough healthy bacteria, dangerous pathogens such as C. difficile can quickly grow out of control. Once it takes hold, C. difficile can produce two virulent toxins that attack the lining of the intestine.

"Doctors have gotten better at spotting C. difficile in hospitals and nursing homes; however, now doctors and patients need to be more aware that you can get this infection as an outpatient and that a case of diarrhea or abdominal cramps at home could become serious," says Dr. Pardi.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States, C. difficile is responsible for tens of thousands of diarrhea cases and at least 5,000 deaths.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Deadly Stomach Infection Rising In Community Settings, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091026132937.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2009, October 28). Deadly Stomach Infection Rising In Community Settings, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091026132937.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Deadly Stomach Infection Rising In Community Settings, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091026132937.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins