Clostridium Difficile Colitis
(Antibiotic-Associated Colitis, C. difficile Colitis, C. diff, C diff,)
Dennis Lee, MD
Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
- What is Clostridium difficile (C. difficile?)
- What Clostridium difficile colitis?
- How does Clostridium difficile cause colitis?
- What are the symptoms of Clostridium difficile colitis?
- Which antibiotics cause Clostridium difficile colitis?
- How is Clostridium difficile colitis diagnosed?
- How is Clostridium difficile colitis treated?
- Why are there relapses of Clostridium difficile colitis?
- How are relapses of Clostridium difficile colitis treated?
- What is new in Clostridium difficile?
- Patient Comments: C. Difficile - Share Your Experience
- Patient Comments: C. Difficile - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: C. Difficile - Antibiotics that cause it
- Patient Comments: C. Difficile - Diagnosis
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What is Clostridium difficile (C. difficile)?
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium that is related to the bacterium that cause tetanus and botulism. The C. difficile bacterium has two forms, an active, infectious form that cannot survive in the environment for prolonged periods, and a nonactive, "noninfectious" form, called a spore, that can survive in the environment for prolonged periods. Although spores cannot cause infection directly, when they are ingested they transform into the active, infectious form.
C. difficile spores are found frequently in:
- nursing homes,
care facilities, and
- nurseries for newborn infants.
They can be found on:
- toilet seats,
- rings (jewelry),
- infants' rooms, and
- diaper pails.
They even can be carried by pets. Thus, these environments are a ready source for infection with C. difficile.
What is Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) colitis?
Antibiotic-associated (C. difficile) colitis is an infection of the colon caused by C. difficile that occurs primarily among individuals who have been using antibiotics. It is the most common infection acquired by patients while they are in the hospital. More than three million C. difficile infections occur in hospitals in the US each year. After a stay of only two days in a hospital, 10% of patients will develop infection with C. difficile. C. difficile also may be acquired outside of hospitals in the community. It is estimated that 20,000 infections with C. difficile occur in the community each year in the U.S.
Viewers share their comments
- Submit »
Get the latest treatment options.