Overview of severe Clostridium difficile infection

Crit Care Clin. 2013 Oct;29(4):827-39. doi: 10.1016/j.ccc.2013.06.004. Epub 2013 Aug 6.


Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic, spore-forming, gram-positive bacillus that can produce severe colitis resulting in death. There has been an overall increase in the incidence of Clostridium difficile-associated disease and, particularly, an increase in the more virulent forms of the disease. Treatment of severe C difficile infection includes management of severe sepsis and shock, pathogen-directed antibiotic therapy, and, in selected cases, surgical intervention. Ultimately, prevention is the key to limiting the devastating effects of this microorganism.

Keywords: Clostridium difficile; Clostridium difficile colitis; Nosocomial infection; Pseudomembranous colitis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Clostridioides difficile*
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous* / diagnosis
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous* / epidemiology
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents