How does Clostridium difficile (C diff) colitis develop?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019
  • Author: Faten N Aberra, MD, MSCE; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

C difficile colitis results from a disturbance of the normal bacterial flora of the colon, colonization with C difficile, and release of toxins that cause mucosal inflammation and damage. Colonization occurs by the fecal-oral route. Hospitalized patients are the primary targets of C difficile infection (CDI), although C difficile is present as a colonizer in 2-3% of healthy adults and in as many as 70% of healthy infants. [11] (Treatment of asymptomatic carriers is not recommended.)


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