What role do antibiotics have in the proliferation of Clostridium difficile (C diff)?

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

C difficile forms heat-resistant spores that can persist in the environment for several months to years. Outbreaks of C difficile diarrhea may occur in hospitals and outpatient facilities where contamination with spores is prevalent. Although the normal gut flora resists colonization and overgrowth with C difficile, the use of antibiotics, which alter and suppress the normal flora, allows proliferation of C difficile, toxin production, and diarrhea.


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