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Clostridium Difficile Infections

Also called: C. diff. infections, Clostridium enterocolitis, pseudomembranous colitis
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Summary

Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis. Symptoms include

  • Watery diarrhea (at least three bowel movements per day for two or more days)
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness

C. difficile is more common in people who need to take antibiotics for a long period of time.The elderly also have a higher risk of getting it. The infection can spread in hospitals and nursing homes.

Tests of your stool can diagnose C. difficile. Sometimes you might also need imaging tests, to check for complications. Certain antibiotics can treat it. Rarely, there are severe cases that need surgery.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Start Here

  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)

Treatments and Therapies

  • (American College of Gastroenterology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)

Related Issues

  • (UpToDate)

Specifics

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

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  • Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Seniors

  • (Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics)

Patient Handouts

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