Community-onset Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea not associated with antibiotic usage--two case reports with review of the changing epidemiology of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea

Neth J Med. 2008 May;66(5):207-11.


The emergence of hypervirulent strains of Clostridium difficile causing outbreaks in hospitals and nursing homes may result in a greater than before spread of the bacterium in the community. By consequence, the incidence of community-onset cases of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea (CDAD) may increase outside known risk groups that are currently characterised by prior hospitalisation, prior antibiotic usage, older age and significant comorbidity. Here, we describe two case histories of community-onset CDAD. The first concerns a previously healthy young female with community-acquired CDAD without recent hospitalisation or antibiotic usage. The second patient developed diarrhoea in the community after discharge from a hospital where--in retrospect--an outbreak of CDAD occurred. The cases illustrate that CDAD should be included in the differential diagnosis of patients seeking care for community-onset diarrhoea, even in those without characteristic risk factors for CDAD.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clostridioides difficile / isolation & purification*
  • Clostridium Infections / epidemiology*
  • Clostridium Infections / etiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology*
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology
  • Diarrhea / microbiology*
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / epidemiology
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents