Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Not all tests are created equal: Identifying C. diff in hospital labs

Date:
July 5, 2011
Source:
Lifespan
Summary:
A study from the microbiology lab at the Lifespan hospitals has found that some lab tests are much more accurate in identifying Clostridium difficile Toxin (C. diff) infection (CDI). A molecular method detects up to 50 percent more cases of C. diff than other methods. While molecular technology is more expensive, it allows for more cases to be identified and assists in patient safety efforts within the hospital in terms of preventing hospital-acquired C. diff infections.

A study from the microbiology lab at the Lifespan hospitals has found that some lab tests are much more accurate in identifying Clostridium difficile Toxin (C. diff) infection (CDI), which causes diarrhea. The findings indicate that a molecular method detects up to 50 percent more cases of C. diff than other methods. While molecular technology is more expensive, it allows for more cases to be identified and assists in patient safety efforts within the hospital in terms of preventing hospital-acquired C. diff infections.

The study is published online the July issue of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

C. diff is a bacterium that produces toxins that cause diarrhea. A 2009 article in the American Journal of Infection Control reported an estimated 13 in every 1,000 hospital inpatients had C. diff -- 20 times more than previous estimates. In Rhode Island, that number is estimated to be closer to 29 per 1,000 patients, and is among the highest in the country. In her paper, lead author Kimberle Chapin, M.D., director of the microbiology lab at Lifespan, reports that across the country, C. diff results in 9,000 hospital deaths each year, along with 3,000 post-discharge deaths and 16,500 deaths in nursing homes. To prevent the spread of C. diff, it is critical that it be identified and both appropriate treatment and proper infection control methods be implemented to prevent the spread to others.

In Chapin's study, she compared five different assays used in the laboratory for identifying C. diff. Her labs at Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children's Hospital, The Miriam Hospital and Newport Hospital perform 15,000 C. diff assays each year. The study evaluated the results of molecular versus non-molecular tests. Chapin says, "The molecular methods we tested detected between 35 and 54 percent more patients who were positive for C. diff than the non-molecular methods."

Chapin says these findings bring up concerns in the number of unconfirmed cases of C. diff in hospitals that are not using molecular methods. "Through the use of molecular testing in our lab, combined with astute physicians and nurses requesting the tests, we were able to detect 50 percent more patients than we did prior to using molecular methods. Knowing the non-molecular tests did not find as many cases lead to patient safety concerns and the drive to implement the new method," she says.

The principle affiliation of Chapin is Lifespan, a health system in Rhode Island, and direct financial and infrastructure support for this project was received through the Lifespan Office of Research Administration. The researcher also has an academic appointment at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Chapin's lab is fully supported by the Lifespan health system.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Kimberle C. Chapin, Roberta A. Dickenson, Fongman Wu, Sarah B. Andrea. Comparison of Five Assays for Detection of Clostridium difficile Toxin. The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, 2011; 13 (4): 395 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2011.03.004

Cite This Page:

Lifespan. "Not all tests are created equal: Identifying C. diff in hospital labs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705123614.htm>.
Lifespan. (2011, July 5). Not all tests are created equal: Identifying C. diff in hospital labs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705123614.htm
Lifespan. "Not all tests are created equal: Identifying C. diff in hospital labs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705123614.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) 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:
from the past week

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