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Clostridium difficile infection in Italian urban hospitals. Data from 2006 through 2011

22 Mar 2013

Background:
In developed countries, Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) represents an emerging threat in terms of morbidity and mortality rates. In our country limited CDI epidemiological data can be found.We have conducted a 6-year retrospective study to evaluate the incidence of CDI in Italian urban hospitals.
Methods:
Stool samples tested for C. difficile toxins from January 2006 to December 2011 in 5 large hospitals in Rome, Italy, were considered in the analysis. Repeated samples taken <= 2 months after a positive result were excluded.
Results:
A total of 402 CDI episodes were identified. The incidence of CDI episodes progressively increased from 0.3 in 2006 to 2.3 per 10,000 patient-days in 2011. CDI episodes mostly occurred in patients > 60 years of age (77%). The >80 year-old age class reported the highest percentage of CDI episodes on tested samples (16%). Eighty percent (80%) of CDI episodes occurred in medical wards followed by surgery (10.2%) and intensive care units (9.8%).
Conclusions:
A significant increasing incidence of CDI episodes over the study period was observed during the years (p<.001), particularly in the older age groups. Medical wards experienced the highest number of CDI episodes as compared to intensive care and surgical wards. The increasing rate of CDI episodes over the last six years in our country, is alarming; urgent improvements in the surveillance systems and control programs are advisable.

Date: 
22 March 2013

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