Wednesday, April 6, 2016

New AHRQ Report Updates Findings on C-diff

Farah Englert
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

A new AHRQ research review updates findings on treatment of C. difficile (C-diff) infections, a type of serious healthcare-associated infection that can be difficult to treat. The review looked at results from 93 studies and concludes that the antibiotic vancomycin is more effective than metronidazole for treatment of initial C-diff. But for prevention of recurrent C-diff, fidaxomicin is more effective than vancomycin.

C-diff is growing in the United States and globally, and extremely infectious strains have emerged since 2000. There were an estimated 293,000 cases of C-diff in the United States in 2011. About 55 of every 100,000 infected people 65 and older will die, making C-diff the 17th leading cause of death in this age group. Early diagnosis and effective treatment, including appropriate use of antibiotics, is essential.

The review also concluded that nucleic acid amplification tests are effective for diagnosing C-diff; and that, while research is limited, fecal transplantation and probiotics may be effective treatments. Please visit to download the report.

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