Asymptomatic Clostridium difficile colonization: epidemiology and clinical implications

Furuya-Kanamori, Luis, Marquess, John, Yakob, Laith, Riley, Thomas V., Paterson, David L., Foster, Niki F., Huber, Charlotte A. and Clements, Archie C.A. (2015) Asymptomatic Clostridium difficile colonization: epidemiology and clinical implications. BMC Infectious Diseases, 15 516: . doi:10.1186/s12879-015-1258-4

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Author Furuya-Kanamori, Luis
Marquess, John
Yakob, Laith
Riley, Thomas V.
Paterson, David L.
Foster, Niki F.
Huber, Charlotte A.
Clements, Archie C.A.
Title Asymptomatic Clostridium difficile colonization: epidemiology and clinical implications
Formatted title
Asymptomatic Clostridium difficile colonization: epidemiology and clinical implications
Journal name BMC Infectious Diseases   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2334
Publication date 2015-11-14
Year available 2015
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1186/s12879-015-1258-4
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 15
Issue 516
Total pages 11
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: The epidemiology of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has changed over the past decades with the emergence of highly virulent strains. The role of asymptomatic C. difficile colonization as part of the clinical spectrum of CDI is complex because many risk factors are common to both disease and asymptomatic states. In this article, we review the role of asymptomatic C. difficile colonization in the progression to symptomatic CDI, describe the epidemiology of asymptomatic C. difficile colonization, assess the effectiveness of screening and intensive infection control practices for patients at risk of asymptomatic C. difficile colonization, and discuss the implications for clinical practice.

Methods: A narrative review was performed in PubMed for articles published from January 1980 to February 2015 using search terms ‘Clostridium difficile’ and ‘colonization’ or ‘colonisation’ or ‘carriage’.

Results: There is no clear definition for asymptomatic CDI and the terms carriage and colonization are often used interchangeably. The prevalence of asymptomatic C. difficile colonization varies depending on a number of host, pathogen, and environmental factors; current estimates of asymptomatic colonization may be underestimated as stool culture is not practical in a clinical setting.

Conclusions: Asymptomatic C. difficile colonization presents challenging concepts in the overall picture of this disease and its management. Individuals who are colonized by the organism may acquire protection from progression to disease, however they also have the potential to contribute to transmission in healthcare settings.
Keyword Clostridium difficile
Carrier state
Asymptomatic
Infection
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2016 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 12 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 19 Nov 2015, 23:29:35 EST by Ms Charlotte Huber on behalf of UQ Centre for Clinical Research