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Pathogen may be stronger, more resistant.

CANADA -- For decades, people in the health care field have recognized Clostridium difficile as a familiar pathogen that is commonly found in hospitals. Now, however, the picture may be changing.

Researchers in Canada looked into the unusual frequency and severity of hospital-acquired diseases and unexpected community-acquired outbreaks. They studied 187 isolated forms of the pathogen collected from patients where it was suspected in outbreaks of C. difficile-associated disease (CDAD). About 50 percent of the isolates were found to be the strain responsible for the hospital outbreaks. The strain has a unique toxicity that may come from increased virulence and a stronger resistance to the fluoroquinolones, compared with most other strains.

The researchers also looked at a CDAD epidemic in Montreal, where more than 1,700 instances of infection were found. In that case, 132 of the 157 collected isolates were the new, more virulent strains.

(Source: New England Journal of Medicine, 2005;353:2433-2441.)
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2005
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