Risk Factors for Community-Associated Clostridium difficile Infection in Children

J Pediatr. 2017 Jul;186:105-109. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.03.032. Epub 2017 Apr 7.


Objective: To characterize the medication and other exposures associated with pediatric community-associated Clostridium difficile infections (CA-CDIs).

Study design: We performed a case-control study using billing records from the US military health system database. CA-CDI cases included children 1-18 years of age with an outpatient International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnostic code for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) from 2001 to 2013. Each case was matched to 3 controls without CDI by age and sex. Children hospitalized at any time before their CDI were excluded. Outpatient pharmacy records were used to identify medication exposures in the preceding 12 weeks. In addition, we evaluated recent outpatient healthcare exposure, exposure to a sibling younger than 1 year of age, or to a family member with CDI.

Results: A total of 1331 children with CA-CDI were identified and 3993 controls were matched successfully. Recent exposure to fluoroquinolones, clindamycin (OR 73.00; 95% CI 13.85-384.68), third-generation cephalosporins (OR 16.32; 95% CI 9.11-29.26), proton pump inhibitors (OR 8.17; 95% CI 2.35-28.38), and to multiple classes of antibiotics, each was associated strongly the subsequent diagnosis of CA-CDI. Recent exposure to outpatient healthcare clinics (OR 1.35; 95% CI 1.31-1.39) or to a family member with CDI also was associated with CA-CDI.

Conclusions: CA-CDI is associated with medications regularly prescribed in pediatric practice, along with exposure to outpatient healthcare clinics and family members with CDI. Our findings provide additional support for the judicious use of these medications and for efforts to limit spread of CDI in ambulatory healthcare settings and households.

Keywords: antibiotics; community-acquired infections; proton pump inhibitors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clostridium Infections / diagnosis
  • Clostridium Infections / epidemiology*
  • Clostridium Infections / therapy
  • Clostridium difficile*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors