Clostridium difficile outbreak strain BI is highly endemic in Chicago area hospitals

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011 Sep;32(9):897-902. doi: 10.1086/661283.


Objective: Describe the clinical and molecular epidemiology of incident Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) cases in Chicago area acute healthcare facilities (HCFs).

Design and setting: Laboratory, clinical, and epidemiologic information was collected for patients with incident CDI who were admitted to acute HCFs in February 2009. Stool cultures and restriction endonuclease analysis typing of the recovered C. difficile isolates was performed.

Patients: Two hundred sixty-three patients from 25 acute HCFs.

Results: Acute HCF rates ranged from 2 to 7 patients with CDI per 10,000 patient-days. The crude mortality rate was 8%, with 20 deaths occurring in patients with CDI. Forty-two (16%) patients had complications from CDI, including 4 patients who required partial, subtotal, or total colectomy, 3 of whom died. C. difficile was isolated and typed from 129 of 178 available stool specimens. The BI strain was identified in 79 (61%) isolates. Of patients discharged to long-term care who had their isolate typed, 36 (67%) had BI-associated CDI.

Conclusions: Severe disease was common and crude mortality was substantial among patients with CDI in Chicago area acute HCFs in February 2009. The outbreak-associated BI strain was the predominant endemic strain identified, accounting for nearly two-thirds of cases. Focal HCF outbreaks were not reported, despite the presence of the BI strain. Transfer of patients between acute and long-term HCFs may have contributed to the high incidence of BI cases in this investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chicago / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clostridioides difficile / isolation & purification*
  • Clostridium Infections / epidemiology*
  • Clostridium Infections / mortality
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / mortality
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology
  • Diarrhea / microbiology*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Transfer
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult