Clostridium difficile

Clostridium difficile is a topic covered in the Guide to Diagnostic Tests.

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Organism

Clostridium difficile

Clostridium difficile is a gram-positive anaerobic rod. C. difficile produces 2 toxins: toxin A, which is an enterotoxin, and toxin B, which is a cytotoxin.

C. difficile has been found in stool in 15–25% of patients with antibiotic-associated diarrhea, 10% of patients treated with antibiotics who do not have diarrhea, and in 95% of patients with diarrhea associated with pseudomembranous colitis.

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