A Reflection from HIS 2018: What is the main driver for C. difficile infection? Antibiotics or C. difficile acquisition?

I made a flying visit to HIS today in Liverpool to have a debate with Prof Mark Wilcox on whether or not antibiotics are the most important factor in healthcare-associated C. difficile infection. Mark was arguing for the motion, and I was arguing against it. And the result…well you’ll have to read to the bottom!

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Evaluating the value of multidisciplinary reviews to get to the root causes of C. difficile infection

An interesting paper has been published evaluating the cost and value of multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings to investigate C. difficile cases. The study counts the cost of C. difficile MDTs (somewhere between £25k and £50k over two years), and concludes that they had limited value in delivering additional learning or quality improvement. But I beg to differ…!

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Attacking the fecal veneer (part 2)

Last year (Jan 17, 2017) I blogged on an excellent pragmatic cluster-randomized crossover study in which 4 patient room cleaning strategies were tested for their effectiveness to reduce acquisition of bacterial carriage for the incoming patients. The authors’ conclusion was that “enhanced terminal room disinfection decreases the risk of pathogen acquisition”, which I interpreted as “Not for C. diff, may be for MRSA and yes for VRE.” Now the same group published the effects of these interventions on infection/colonization with these pathogens in ALL patients admitted to the hospital during the study period, see. Authors’ conclusion this time: “Enhanced terminal room disinfection with UV in a targeted subset of high-risk rooms led to a decrease in hospital-wide incidence of C difficile and VRE.” Really? Continue reading

Does reducing spore contamination on high-touch surfaces reduce C. difficile transmission?

Curtis Donskey’s group recently published a multicentre randomised trial in 16 US hospitals to evaluate the impact of an enhanced cleaning programme (including fluoruescent markers, environmental cultures, and feedback to cleaners) on the transmission of C. difficile. The intervention resulted in an increase in the removal of fluorescent markers, a reduction in environmental contamination with C. difficile, but no reduction in healthcare-associated CDI!

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Friday Afternoon: ATP vs UV vs eyeball Vs K9 and Going Commando in Surgery

Screen Shot 2017-06-02 at 12.26.42Well I was looking for a Friday afternoon sort of post and you know when you wait a while and two come at once?.. So firstly, some may recall that I have previously highlighted the utility of a sensitive nose in detecting a variety of things in a previous post. In a study just posted online first in the Journal of Hospital Infection, a springer spaniel was trained to detect C. difficile in the environment with a fair degree of success, especially for detecting rooms in which C. difficile was not present. Continue reading

Monoclonal antibodies, the brown stuff, and preventing recurrent C. difficile infection

A fantastic NEJM study by Mark Wilcox et al. brings monoclonal antibodies* to the party in preventing recurrent C. difficile infection. In this hugely impressive RCT (well, two squashed together actually), patients who received bezlotoxumab (a monoclonal antibody against C. difficile toxin B) were significantly less likely to suffer recurrent CDI (17% for bezlotoxumab vs 27% for placebo).

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Fluoroquinolone use and C. difficile infections: The English miracle not yet explained?

A few weeks ago in LID this marvellous paper, clearly demonstrated the reduction of fluoroquinolone-resistant but not fluoroquinolone-susceptible C. diff infections (CDI) in English hospitals, coined as “the English C. diff miracle”. The CDI decline coincided with the reduction of fluoroquinolone use, but also with a period in which “horizontal” infection control measures, such as hand hygiene, were improved. As the latter would be equally effective in preventing transmission of resistant and susceptible strains, the fluoroquinolone reduction was considered causative for the observed reduction. A very simple model tells us that that is not necessarily the case. Continue reading