Clostridium difficile or C-diff is the nasty bacteria that according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has been attributed to a number of infectious disease deaths in the United States. The bacteria sicken nearly twice as many Americans each year, having been linked to 29,000 deaths in 2011 according to a report by the CDC.
The bacteria have been found to produce a toxin that can lead to horrific diarrhea and holes in the large intestines. In worst case scenarios, patients may be required to undergo surgical operations to remove a portion of their colon and forced to use a colostomy bag while their intestines heals.
C-diff remains the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea in the industrialized world, the infections rate having doubled to 8.2 infections per 1,000 admissions in the U.S from 2001 to 2010. A point of concern is that the bacteria thrive in a stream of antibiotics according to Dr. Fernanda Lessa a CDC medical epidemiologist.
The bacteria’s inroads thrive in people who took antibiotics recently or are taking them according to the doctor. Antibiotics have been found to create an ideal environment for C-diff because most of them usually wipe out useful bacteria that can help prevent the disease.
C-diff spores have also been found to survive and thrive in a wash in hand sanitizer gel and can survive for long periods consequently calling for high levels of hygiene in health care workers. Most often, infections reported in 2011 were as a result of a stay or visit to a healthcare facility.
There is currently no vaccine for the bacteria with infections strangely being treated by antibiotics, which experts at CDC continue to raise concerns about. Antibiotics have already been found not to work on everybody after an estimated 83,000 people, or one in every five were found to experience a recurrent of the infection after treatment.
Multiple rounds of antibiotics may be required to suppress the infections and with luck give the body enough time to recover according to Dr. Michael Bell deputy director for Healthcare Quality Promotion at the CDC. The only concern with this mode of treatment is that it only goes to disturb normal bacteria in bowels, so it has been disputed as a perfect solution.
Doctors are slowly turning their attention to fecal transplant as one of the ways of combatting the bacteria. The procedure involves the infusion of healthy feces through enema or colonoscopy. Aggressive consumption of antibiotics only goes to affect useful bacteria something that fecal transplants are countering with the deployment of more good bacteria to defeat the bacteria wreaking havoc.