Present and past perspectives on Clostridium difficile infection

Rev Gastroenterol Mex. Jan-Mar 2018;83(1):41-50. doi: 10.1016/j.rgmx.2017.03.004. Epub 2017 Jul 3.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive bacillus that has become one of the main hospital-acquired human gastrointestinal infections in recent years. Its incidence is on the rise, involving more virulent strains, affecting new and previously uncontemplated groups of patients, and producing changes in clinical presentation and treatment response that influence disease outcome. Early diagnosis and disease stratification based on the severity of C.difficile infection are essential for therapeutic management and the implementation of containment measures. However, the speed at which new strains with greater pathogenicity are developing is surpassing that of the development of new drugs, making it necessary to validate other therapeutic options. The present article is a review of the epidemiologic, pathophysiologic, diagnostic, and therapeutic aspects of C.difficile infection, from its first isolation to the present date, that aims to contribute to the preparation of general physicians and specialists, so that patients with this infection receive opportune and quality medical attention.

Keywords: Clostridium difficile; Colitis pseudomembranosa; Megacolon tóxico; Pseudomembranous colitis; Toxic megacolon.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Clostridioides difficile* / isolation & purification
  • Clostridium Infections / diagnosis
  • Clostridium Infections / epidemiology
  • Clostridium Infections / history*
  • Clostridium Infections / therapy
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Global Health
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology