Clostridium difficile-associated disease among patients in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Travel Med Infect Dis. 2010 Nov;8(6):373-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2010.10.003. Epub 2010 Oct 27.


Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) is an important healthcare-associated infection. However, there are no data from Saudi Arabia on this disease. A two-year prospective, observational study on the incidence of CDAD in a hospital in Saudi Arabia was carried out. Stool analysis for C. difficile toxins A and B was carried out by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Medical and laboratory records were reviewed. Of the total number of patients, there were 53.3% male and the mean age was 44.6 ± 27.2 years. Of the 913 specimens, only 42 (4.6%) were positive for C. difficile toxins. The annual incidence rates of C. difficile were 1.2 and 0.9 per 1000 discharges, and 2.4 and 1.7 per 10,000 patient days in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Of the total number of cases, 52.4% were with onset in the hospital, 38.1% were with onset in the community and 9.5% were community-onset but healthcare facility-associated CDAD. Of the cases, 16 (39%) patients did not have exposure to antimicrobial drugs in the 3 months prior to the test date. The remaining patients received antimicrobial drug therapy. Cephalosporin and fluoroquinolone were the most common antimicrobial drugs used. Overall, the prevalence of C. difficile-associated diarrhea was low; further studies are required in Saudi Arabia to elucidate the true prevalence of the disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Clostridioides difficile*
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology*
  • Diarrhea / microbiology
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / epidemiology*
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / microbiology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Young Adult