C. Difficile - Share Your Experience

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What is Clostridium difficile (C. difficile)?

Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium that is related to the bacteria that cause tetanus and botulism. The C. difficile bacterium has two forms, an active, infectious form that cannot survive in the environment for prolonged periods, and a nonactive, "noninfectious" form, called a spore, that can survive in the environment for prolonged periods. Although spores cannot cause infection directly, when they are ingested they transform into the active, infectious form.

C. difficile spores are found frequently in:

  • hospitals,
  • nursing homes,
  • extended care facilities, and
  • nurseries for newborn infants.

They can be found on:

  • bedpans,
  • furniture,
  • toilet seats,
  • linens,
  • telephones,
  • stethoscopes,
  • fingernails,
  • rings (jewelry),
  • floors,
  • infants' rooms, and
  • diaper pails.

They even can be carried by pets. Thus, these environments are a ready source for infection with C. difficile.

Return to Clostridium Difficile Colitis (Antibiotic-Associated Colitis, C. difficile colitis)

See what others are saying

Comment from: discouraged, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 05

I took clindamycin for a minor infection. Doctor said to take probiotics but never mentioned C. difficile. For a few weeks, it was manageable, but I took a turn for the worse. Living in the bathroom for days while waiting for test results was the worst experience of my life. Don't ever get sick on a Friday! The lab won't run tests tile Monday! After many tears and explaining the situation to nurse, I was able to get Flagyl before my results came. In the meantime, I lost a job because I was so sick I couldn't make it to work. Flagyl helped, but a month later I'm still not right and I think I'm beginning to have a relapse. They should ban clindamycin. It ruined my life. And without work, it's pretty hard to pay off hospital bills.

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Comment from: Hallett, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: February 02

My mum in hospital in a room on her own with C. difficile colitis. Every time I look at her chart it records 7, the highest. Her weight loss is not real. She is on the 2nd course of treatment but I don't know if she will survive.

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