Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Level playing field for Clostridium difficile diagnosis

Date:
September 3, 2013
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
The largest study of its kind has shown the most effective test for the diagnosis of Clostridium difficile, a bacterial infection which causes 15,000-20,000 deaths a year in hospitals in the United States.

The largest study of its kind, carried out by experts at the University of Leeds, has shown the most effective test for the diagnosis of Clostridium difficile (C-Diff).

C-Diff is a bacterial infection which causes 3,000 deaths a year in Britain. It affects the digestive system, and is most common in hospital patients treated with antibiotics for other infections.

The multi-centre study, carried out by researchers at the University of Leeds, in partnership with colleagues from the University of Oxford, University College London and St George's, University of London, tested more than 12,000 faecal samples from hospital patients to establish the best method for diagnosing C-Diff.

The study compared the main different ways of diagnosing C-Diff, including the two 'gold-standard' methods: a cytotoxin assay, which looks for the presence of C-Diff toxin in faecal samples; and cytotoxigenic culture, which looks to see if there are bugs present in faecal samples that could possibly produce C-Diff toxin.

The research team found that patients with faecal samples positive by the cytotoxin assay were almost twice as likely to die within 30 days as those patients with samples only positive by the alternative 'gold-standard' method (16.6% versus 9.7%). The findings mean that tests which detect the presence of toxin in faecal samples (the cytotoxin assay) are the most reliable indicators of true C-Diff.

Professor Mark Wilcox, of the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, who is also the C-Diff lead for Public Health England, the nation's public health body, said:

"The diagnosis of C-Diff has become a complicated area with lots of alternative tests, and there has been considerable uncertainty about which are the best tests to use.

"This is a landmark study not only because of its size, but also because we followed what happened to patients. This meant we have been able to show confidently which are the best tests to use to diagnose C-diff.

"C-diff cases in the NHS have decreased markedly in number since their peak in 2007-08 but reliably diagnosing C-diff is a crucial way forward to continuing to fight this infection."

These findings highlight the importance of using appropriate tests to diagnose C-Diff, especially as it is not possible to diagnose the infection using laboratory tests. Treating patients for C-diff and preventing the spread of infections in hospitals rely on accurately identifying who has the infection, but also who may be capable of transmitting the bug. The study identified a way of using a combination of tests to identify who has C-diff and who could be at risk of spreading the bug to others.

The research has already been used as a basis for new 2012 guidelines to the NHS on the diagnosis of C-Diff.

The study was carried out at four hospital sites between October 2010 and September 2011: Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, St George's Healthcare NHS Trust, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The study was funded by the Department of Health and the Health Protection Agency, now known as Public Health England.

The findings have been published online in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Timothy D Planche, Kerrie A Davies, Pietro G Coen, John M Finney, Irene M Monahan, Kirsti A Morris, Lily O'Connor, Sarah J Oakley, Cassie F Pope, Mike W Wren, Nandini P Shetty, Derrick W Crook, Mark H Wilcox. Differences in outcome according to Clostridium difficile testing method: a prospective multicentre diagnostic validation study of C difficile infection. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70200-7

Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "Level playing field for Clostridium difficile diagnosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130903101953.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2013, September 3). Level playing field for Clostridium difficile diagnosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130903101953.htm
University of Leeds. "Level playing field for Clostridium difficile diagnosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130903101953.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
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