Typing of Clostridium difficile

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2001 Aug;7(8):428-31. doi: 10.1046/j.1198-743x.2001.00288.x.


Clostridium difficile is primarily recognised as a nosocomially acquired pathogen manifesting in gastrointestinal disease subsequent to the patient receiving broad-spectrum antibiotics. Infection can be sporadic, but outbreaks commonly occur within a ward or hospital as a result of cross-infection. Since the 1980s, the epidemiology of C. difficile disease has been studied by the application of many different typing or fingerprinting methods; these, and the lessons learned, are reviewed herein.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clostridium difficile / chemistry
  • Clostridium difficile / classification*
  • Clostridium difficile / genetics
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field / methods
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / epidemiology
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / microbiology
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Technique / methods
  • Ribotyping / methods
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • DNA, Bacterial