The management of clostridium difficile infection

O. Martin Williams, Robert C. Spencer

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction/background: Clostridium difficile is the commonest cause of nosocomial diarrhoea. The epidemiology and clinical phenotype of the disease has dramatically changed with the global emergence of a virulent strain of C. difficile.SourceThis review was compiled using data from individual studies and review articles identified from PubMed. The retrieved articles were also examined for additional references.Areas of agreementAppropriate and timely infection control measures are required to control C. difficile infection (CDI) in the hospital environment, and either oral metronidazole or vancomycin remains the mainstay of treatment depending on the severity of infection.Areas of controversyThe optimal method for diagnosing CDI remains unclear, as does the best therapeutic strategy for the management of multiple relapses.Growing points/areas timely for developing researchStudies of new antimicrobial agents with activity against C. difficile are required to improve the management of multiply relapsing disease. The use of novel therapeutic approaches that do not require antimicrobials requires urgent research, including the use of immunological or vaccine-based regimen, bacteriotherapy or C. difficile-specific bacteriophages.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)87-110
    Number of pages24
    JournalBritish Medical Bulletin
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009


    • Clostridium difficile
    • Risk factors
    • Treatment


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