How is Clostridium difficile (C diff) infection (CDI) prevented?

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

The most important preventive measure is the judicious use of antimicrobial agents. Principal CDI prevention recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), include improved antibiotic therapy, early and accurate CDI detection, isolation of symptomatic patients, and reduction of C difficile contamination on environmental surfaces in healthcare settings. [5, 30]

CDI risk is increased 7- to 10-fold during antibiotic use and for 1 month after the drug is discontinued; the risk is approximately 3-fold during the second and third month after discontinuation. [30]

A systematic review and meta-analyses of observational studies have shown evidence of an increased risk for recurrent CDI among patients who use gastric acid suppressants; the investigators suggest it may be reasonable for clinicians to reassess whether their patients with CDI need to take these agents. [19]


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