Asked in Uncategorized
What is C. difficile?
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Asked in Health
What are the causes of cidiff how can you treat this?
When people say "C. diff" (pronounced "see diff"), they mean an infection by the Clostridium difficile bacterium. Many people carry this bacterium in their GI tract normally. However, if these people take antibiotics, C. difficile can tough it out while other bacteria are killed. A bit later, C. difficile can overgrow and become a real problem. Clindamycin is the antibiotic that is most associated with C. difficile infection, but almost any antibiotic can trigger it, including penicillins. Rarely, C. difficile infection can occur without antibiotic use. Staying in a hospital increases one's risk of developing C. difficile infection. Treatment of C. difficile involves discontinuing the previous antibiotic and giving specific antibiotics that kill C. difficile. Antibiotics effective against C. difficile include vancomycin (taken orally) and metronidazole. Hope that helped!
Asked in Intestinal Health
Can C. difficile come back in 6 months?
It would seem possible, yes. However, it's impossible to provide an accurate timescale. Clostridium difficile (often called "C. diff" colloquially) is a normal inhabitant of the gut flora in many individuals. In most of these individuals, the growth of C. difficile is kept in check by other bacteria in the gut who compete for the same nutrients as C. difficile. C. difficile can become a problem with broad-spectrum antibiotic use (particularly ampicillin and clindamycin). Since many inhabitants of the gut are susceptible to these antibiotics, these natural flora will be destroyed. But C. difficile is resistant to a wide variety of antibiotics, and when the rest of the natural flora disappears in the presence of these antibiotics, the overgrowth of C. difficile ensues and the bug has its way with the gastrointestinal system. This is accomplished by the synthesis of various toxins that induce an inflammatory reaction called pseudomembranous colitis. Treatment is usually with metronidazole, which kills C. difficile so the rest of the normal gut flora can regenerate. Eventually, the gut flora will reestablish itself, with C. difficile potentially being a part of the normal flora once again. I'm not sure anyone has studied how long it takes for C. difficile to return in these individuals. But it is definitely possible that in these folks, a subsequent round of antibiotics can induce another bout of pseudomembranous colitis due to C. difficile overgrowth. Whether it can happen within six months of a previous episode is unknown, but seems theoretically possible given the rapidity of bacterial growth.
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