Enhanced surveillance of Clostridium difficile infection occurring outside hospital, England, 2011 to 2013

Clostridium difficile Ribotyping Network (CDRN) Working Group

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There are limited national epidemiological data for community-associated (CA)-Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs). Between March 2011 and March 2013, laboratories in England submitted to the Clostridium difficile Ribotyping Network (CDRN) up to 10 diarrhoeal faecal samples from successive patients with CA-CDI, defined here as C. difficile toxin-positive diarrhoea commencing outside hospital (or less than 48 hours after hospital admission), including those cases associated with community-based residential care, with no discharge from hospital within the previous 12 weeks. Patient demographics and C. difficile PCR ribotypes were compared for CA-CDIs in our study and presumed healthcare-associated (HA) CDIs via CDRN. Ribotype diversity indices, ranking and relative prevalences were very similar in CA- vs HA-CDIs, although ribotypes 002 (p ≤ 0.0001),020 (p = 0.009) and 056 (p < 0.0001) predominated in CA-CDIs; ribotype 027 (p = 0.01) predominated in HA-CDIs. Epidemic ribotypes 027 and 078 predominated in institutional residents with CDI (including care/nursing homes) compared with people with CDI living at home. Ribotype diversity decreased with increasing age in HA-CDIs, but not in CA-CDIs. Ribotype 078 CA-CDIs were significantly more common in elderly people (3.4% (6/174) vs 8.7% (45/519) in those aged < 65 and ≥ 65 years, respectively; p = 0.019). No antibiotics were prescribed in the previous four weeks in about twofold more CA-CDI vs HAs (38.6% (129/334) vs 20.3% (1,226/6,028); p < 0.0001). We found very similar ribotype distributions in CAand HA-CDIs, although a few ribotypes significantly predominated in one setting. These national data emphasise the close interplay between, and likely common reservoirs for, CDIs, particularly when epidemic strains are not dominant.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

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© 2016, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). All rights reserved.


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