Clostridium difficile infection: a Serbian single-center experience
Introduction: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the most common cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea. Severity of CDI is associated with advanced age and co-morbidities. The clinical spectrum varies from mild watery diarrhea to severe fulminant pseudomembranous colitis with complications.
Methodology: This study conducted over a six-year period (2008 to 2013) included 510 patients treated at the University Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases in Belgrade, Serbia. In patients with a history of previous hospitalization and/or treatment with antimicrobial agents who developed diarrhea, the diagnosis was established with rapid tests for C. difficile toxin A and B and by stool culture for C. difficile (454 patients) or by endoscopic examination and histological analyses of the biopsy samples taken from the colonic mucosa (56 patients).
Results: The mean age of patients was 67.71± 13.34 years. A total of 67.8% patients were older than 65 years. Over half (58.7%) of the patients were female. 93% had been previously hospitalized and/or had surgical interventions, during which they had been treated with antibiotics. In the clinical presentation spectrum, pseudomembranous colitis occurred in 51.0% .The mean duration of illness after the introduction of specific antibiotic therapy was 7.10 ± 4.88 days. Complications developed in 14 patients. The disease relapsed in 43 (8.4%). Thirty-two (6.3%) patients died, mostly due to co-morbidities.
Conclusions: CDI is the most important cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea in Serbia. The disease mainly affects elderly patients with co-morbidities. The incidence of complications is low and prognosis is age dependent and related to pre-existing diseases.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).