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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 145  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 840-846

Toxigenic Clostridium difficile isolates from clinically significant diarrhoea in patients from a tertiary care centre

1 Department of Gastroenterology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Experimental Medicine & Biotechnology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Chetana Vaishnavi
Department of Gastroenterology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_192_16

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Background & objectives: Clostridium difficile is the primary cause of hospital-acquired colitis in patients receiving antibiotics. The pathogenicity of the organism is mainly due to the production of toxins. This study was conducted to investigate the presence of toxigenic C. difficile in the faecal samples of hospitalized patients suspected to have C. difficile infection (CDI) and corroborating the findings with their clinical and demographic data. Methods: Diarrhoeic samples obtained from 1110 hospitalized patients were cultured for C. difficile and the isolates confirmed by phenotypic and molecular methods. Toxigenicity of the isolates was determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for toxins A and B. Details of patients included in the study were noted and analyzed. Results: Of the 1110 patients (mean age 39±19.6 yr), 63.9 per cent were males and 36.1 per cent were females. The major antibiotics received by the patients were nitazoxanide (23.9%), penicillins/penicillin combinations (19.0%), quinolones including fluoroquinolones (13.1%), carbapenems (11.5%), glycopeptides (11.0%) and cephalosporins (8.4%). The clinical symptoms predominantly present were watery diarrhoea (56.4%), fever (40.0%) and abdominal pain (35.3%). The underlying diseases were gastrointestinal disorders (52.6%), followed by cancers (13.2%), surgical conditions (8.3%), and hepatic disorders (8.0%). Of the 174 C. difficile isolates, 54.6 per cent were toxigenic. Toxigenic C. difficile was present in all patients with surgical conditions, 65.2 per cent with cancers and 57.1 per cent with gastrointestinal disorders. Interpretation & conclusions: C. difficile was found to be an important cause of gastrointestinal infections in hospitalized patients with underlying diseases and on antibiotics. Clinical conditions of the patients correlating with toxigenic culture can be an important tool for establishing CDI diagnosis.

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