Clostridium difficile

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Clos·trid·i·um dif·fi·cile

Avoid the mispronunciation dĭf-ĭ-sēl' of this Latin word, which is correctly pronounced dĭ-fĭs'ĭ-lē.
a bacterial species found in feces of humans and animals. It colonizes newborn infants, who are spared from toxin-induced diarrheal disease. Pathogenic for human beings, guinea pigs, and rabbits; frequent cause of colitis and diarrhea following antibiotic use. Found to be a cause of pseudomembranous colitis and associated with a number of intestinal diseases that are linked to antibiotic therapy; also the chief cause of nosocomial diarrhea.
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Clostridium difficile

(dĭf′ĭ-sēl′, dĭf′ĭ-sēl′, dĭf′ĭ-kē′lā)
A bacterium that causes an infectious form of severe diarrhea especially in elderly people on antibiotic therapy and in hospitalized patients. Also called C. diff..

Clostridium difficile

A common inhabitant of the colon flora in human infants and sometimes in adults. It produces a toxin that causes pseudomembranous enterocolitis in persons receiving antibiotic therapy causing watery diarrhea. The species affects guinea pigs and rabbits as well as humans.

Clostridium difficile

A common cause of bacterial colitis; it is the causative agent in 99% of pseudomembranous colitis, and 20-30% of antibiotic-associated diarrhea

Clos·trid·i·um dif·fi·ci·le

(klos-trid'ē-ŭm di-fis'i-lē)
Gram-positive obligate anaerobic or microaerophilic, rod-shaped bacterium; causes sometimes severe antibiotic-associated colitis.
Synonym(s): C-Diff, CDT.
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Clostridium difficile

A fecal organism endemic in hospitals and responsible for the majority of hospital-acquired cases of diarrhoea in elderly patients. Its prevalence in hospital is largely due to the high levels of antibiotic usage. Bowel infection can be cleared by oral treatment with the antibiotic vancomycin which is not appreciably absorbed into the bloodstream. Up to 40 percent of hospitalized patients are colonized with this organism. Only about 3 percent of healthy adults carry it. A previously uncommon strain with variations in toxin genes has emerged as a cause of C. difficile -associated disease.


a genus of anaerobic spore-forming bacteria of the family Bacillaceae. Most are gram-positive rods.

Clostridium bifermentans, Clostridium sordelli
see malignant edema.
Clostridium botulinum
causes botulism from neurotoxin produced during vegetative growth. C. botulinum types B, C and D are associated with disease in animals but the type prevalence varies geographically. See botulism.
Clostridium butyricum
involved in the spoilage of meat.
Clostridium cadaveris
may be associated with colitis X in horses.
Clostridium chauvoei
formerly called C. feseri. See blackleg.
Clostridium colinum
cause of ulcerative enteritis and liver necrosis in quail, turkeys, grouse, partridge and chickens. Not an accredited species.
Clostridium difficile
see antibiotic-associated colitis.
Clostridium feseri
now called C. chauvoei (above).
Clostridium haemolyticum
formerly called C. novyi type D. See bacillary hemoglobinuria.
Clostridium histolyticum
a species found in feces, soil and sometimes wound infections. An important cause of meat spoilage.
Clostridium nigrificans
a thermophilic spoiler of canned meat producing hydrogen sulfide gas and causing purple staining of the inside of the can. Now called Desulfotomaculum nigrificans.
Clostridium novyi
see infectious necrotic hepatitis. See also C. haemolyticum (above). Previously called C. oedematiens. Type A causes malignant edema in cattle and sheep, and big head in rams, type B causes infectious necrotic hepatitis (black disease), and type C has been associated with osteomyelitis in buffalo.
Clostridium overgrowth
see bacterial overgrowth.
Clostridium parabotulinum
a proteolytic subgroup of C. botulinum; not a valid species.
Clostridium perfringens
cause of enterotoxemia. Type A causes malignant edema, type B causes dysentery in lambs and enterotoxemia, type C causes struck in sheep and necrotic enteritis in piglets, type D causes enterotoxemia and type E causes necrotic enteritis. Previously called C. welchii.
Clostridium putrefaciens
causes deep bone taint in hams. See also C. putrificum (below).
Clostridium putrificum
a cause of bone taint in cured hams. There is no detectable abnormality on the surface of the ham.
Clostridium septicum
formerly called C. septique. See malignant edema, braxy.
Clostridium sordelli
cause of a small proportion of cases of gas gangrene in ruminants. See also abomasitis.
Clostridium spiroforme
associated with enteritis and enterocolitis in rabbits, guinea pigs and foals.
Clostridium sporogenes
an apathogenic clostridium often found in lesions of gas gangrene.
Clostridium tetani
a common inhabitant of soil and human and horse intestines, and the cause of tetanus in humans and domestic animals.
Clostridium villosum
found in fight abscesses and pleurisy in cats.
Clostridium welchii
see C. perfringens (above).
References in periodicals archive ?
The same study reported 29,000 deaths within 30 days after CDI diagnosis, at least half of which were likely attributable to C-diff.
Valentine of Harrington said C-diff is an intestinal infection people get as a result of antibiotic use that can destroy normal, healthy bacteria.
Last year Huddersfield and Calderdale hospitals beat their target of 33 cases of C-Diff, suffering only 29.
Tragic: Stan Mack died after suffering from the C-diff bug.
Prof Stephen Singleton, medical director for NHS North East, said: "Although it may seem like a relatively simple idea, practising good hand hygiene is actually one of the best defences against the spread of infections such as MRSA and C-diff.
Ms Salisbury was rushed to Wrexham Maelor Hospital after a course of antibiotics probably triggered C-Diff in her, Ms Smith said, just before she died.
Its effectiveness in combating some of the most common superbugs including Norovirus, C-Diff, MRSA, Hepatitis-C, Hepatitis-B, E-Coli, H1N1, Salmonella and Influenza, has already led to it winning many accolades from professionals throughout the NHS, where it is specified as the product of choice.
But staff and unions fear washing the gear at home could lead to the spread of lethal infections such as C-diff and MRSA.
This is a major finding in how C-diff causes disease in humans.
Figures reveal there were 183 cases of clostridium difficile, or C-diff, at the Royal Liverpool and Broad green hospitals in just 91 days from April to June.
In some of these cases the deaths may have been caused by other factors but the patient was also infected with C-diff.
There were 14 hospital-acquired cases of C-diff, another potentially dangerous infection, from the start of April to the end of June, compared with 58 during the same quarter last year - a 75 per cent fall.