Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a Gram-positive, spore-forming, anaerobic bacillus, which is widely distributed in the intestinal tract of humans and animals and in the environment. In the last decade, the frequency and severity of C. difficile infection has been increasing worldwide to become one of the most common hospital-acquired infections. Transmission of this pathogen occurs by the fecal-oral route and the most important risk factors include antibiotic therapy, old age, and hospital or nursing home stay. The clinical picture is diverse and ranges from asymptomatic carrier status, through various degrees of diarrhea, to the most severe, life threatening colitis resulting with death. Diagnosis is based on direct detection of C. difficile toxins in feces, most commonly with the use of EIA assay, but no single test is suitable as a stand-alone test confirming CDI. Antibiotics of choice are vancomycin, fidaxomicin, and metronidazole, though metronidazole is considered as inferior. The goal of this review is to update physicians on current scientific knowledge of C. difficile infection, focusing also on fecal microbiota transplantation which is a promising therapy.
Keywords: Antibiotic-associated diarrhea; Clostridium difficile; Diagnosis; Fecal transplantation; Treatment.