QCOSTARICA – Authorities at the Max Peralta Hospital in Cartago confirmed ten patients infected with Clostridium difficile colitis (also known as C. diff diarrhea, Clostridium difficile infection, popularly known as C.Diff.
Hospital director, Krisia Diaz, said the cases started appearing on November 28, when three patients tested positive. A day later, two more patients were diagnosed, and a few more the following day, raising the total to 8 on November 30.
Two more patients since have been isolated.
Diaz says the patients are all between 69 and 92 years of age; three are women and seven men.
Clostridium difficile colitis is a cause of infectious diarrhea due to a type of spore-forming bacteria.[ Latent symptoms of CDI often mimic some flu-like symptoms and can mimic disease flare in people with inflammatory bowel disease-associated colitis. C. difficile releases toxins that can cause bloating and diarrhea, with abdominal pain, which may become severe.
The colitis is thought to occur when this bacteria replaces normal gut flora that has been compromised, usually following antibiotic treatment for an unrelated infection. The disturbance of normal healthy bacteria may provide C. difficile an opportunity to overrun the intestinal microbiome. It is a type of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
Mild cases of CDI can often be treated by discontinuing the offending antibiotics. More serious cases require targeted antibiotic treatment. Relapses of CDI have been reported in up to 20% of cases. C. difficile infection is a growing problem in health care facilities around the world.
Untreated C.Diff can lead to death.
Fecal bacteriotherapy, known as a stool transplant, is about 90% effective in those in whom antibiotics have not worked. It involves infusion of bacterial flora acquired from the feces of a healthy donor to reverse the bacterial imbalance responsible for the recurring nature of the infection. The procedure replaces normal, healthy colonic flora that had been wiped out by antibiotics, and reestablishes resistance to colonization by Clostridium difficile.
Although fecal transplantation therapy remains a controversial topic, there is growing evidence that it may be an effective treatment for severe or recurrent C.Diff . There is preliminary evidence that the fecal transplant may also be delivered in form of a pill.