Clostridium difficile is no longer just a nosocomial infection or an infection of adults

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2009 Mar;33 Suppl 1:S42-5. doi: 10.1016/S0924-8579(09)70016-0.


Clostridium difficile is the main cause of nosocomial gastrointestinal disorders. Historically, C. difficile has usually affected older patients, hospital inpatients, and long-term care facility residents. Recent reports suggest that the occurrence and severity of C. difficile-associated disease (CDAD) is increasing in populations previously considered to be at low risk of the infection, and increasing numbers of community-acquired cases of CDAD are being reported. Risk factors for CDAD in paediatric patients include disruption of the normal microflora of the gastrointestinal tract (antibiotic-associated and non-antibiotic-associated), age, immune status, diet, underlying conditions, concurrent infections, and cancer. CDAD in populations previously thought to be at low risk is an emerging problem.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clostridium difficile / isolation & purification*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / microbiology
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / epidemiology*
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Young Adult