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C. Difficile

C. Difficile Causes

Clostridium difficile bacteria are practically everywhere and can be found in air, soil, water, feces, and most surfaces. In humans, the infection is triggered by taking antibiotics or other antimicrobial drugs. The organism causes illness by multiplying and growing in abnormally large numbers in the intestinal tract.

C. Difficile Definition

C. difficile (Clostridium difficile) is a type of bacterium that causes a widespread and serious illness. This bacterium can be found almost anywhere and can easily infect people.

C. Difficile Diagnosis

If Clostridium difficile is suspected, the following tests may be done to confirm the diagnosis: stool test; colon examination; and imaging tests such as a computerized tomography (CT) scan.

C. Difficile Symptoms and Signs

Some patients infected with the C. difficile never demonstrate any symptoms, although they remain contagious and can still spread the infection. In symptomatic patients, the infection presents with: nausea; profuse watery diarrhea; severe abdominal pain and cramping; pus or blood in stool; dehydration; and unintended weight loss. In severe cases, Clostridium difficile infections can lead to a number of serious complications, such as colitis and pseudomembranous colitis, both of which are life-threatening disorders characterized by severe inflammations of the colon.

C. Difficile Treatment

To treat a Clostridium difficile infection, it may be necessary to stop the antibiotic or medication that triggered the infection. For most patients, this step may be sufficient to relieve symptoms. However, in some cases, further steps are necessary, including: antibiotics such as oral metronidazole or vancomycin; probiotics; and surgery for those with severe pain.

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