Understanding C- Diff

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Clostridium difficile (c. diff)- is an anaerobic, Gram-positive bacteria, a spore-forming bacilli(rods) that is most seriously caused by antibiotic-associated diarrhea. It is important to know that among the many hundreds of normal gut flora, c- diff is among them. Because it is resistant to most antibiotics like Cipro, levaquin, clindamycin, cephalosporins and beta- lactamase inhibitors, this antibiotics wipes out other normal gut flora but notorious c-diff remains. Its proliferation and overpopulation in the gut causes this bacteria to release toxins that is responsible for the severe diarrhea, inflammation and bloating. Nosocomial infection by accidental ingestion of c-diff can also lead to overgrowth of this bacteria in the gut. If not detected early and treated accordingly may lead to pseudomembranus colitis and toxic megacolon. Metronidazole is the first line of treatment. Vancomycin is used when treatment is unsuccessful with Metronidazole. Spores of C- diff may live for long periods of time outside the body. Only disinfectant containing bleach can eradicate the bacteria. for this reason pt positive for C- diff are on contact isolation and hand washing with soap and water is advised. Alcohol based hand rubs does not destroy the bacteria.

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16 responses »

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