Sarah W. Baron, M.D Assistant Professor Division of Hospital Medicine Department of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center Bronx, New York

Asymptomatic Patients Carry C. difficile Bacteria for Deadly Diarrhea Into Hospital

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sarah W. Baron, M.D Assistant Professor Division of Hospital Medicine Department of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center Bronx, New York

Dr. Baron

Sarah W. Baron, M.D
Assistant Professor
Division of Hospital Medicine
Department of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center
Bronx, New York 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: We know that C. difficile can be a deadly and highly infectious disease but that it has been difficult to control. We also know that some people carry C. difficile in their body without symptoms but can still spread the organism or become sick with it themselves at some point in the future.

This study attempted to answer two main questions:

1. First, how many patients coming into a large, urban academic medical center carried the organism C. difficile without any symptoms and
2. How many of those carriers without symptoms then went on to have the symptoms of C. difficile within 6 months?

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We found that almost 10% of people coming into our facility carried C. difficile without any symptoms. In addition, we found that 38% of those carriers went on to have symptomatic C. difficile within the next 6 months. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: I hope that the biggest take away is that plenty of patients coming to the hospital carry C. difficile without any symptoms. In addition, many of those carriers will develop symptoms within the next few months. This means that we might have to consider both broad approaches to preventing the spread of the C. difficile organism, in terms of Infection Control or more widespread screening, which is considered a supplemental intervention, but also more targeted approaches, potentially identifying high risk carriers to determine an effective strategy to prevent them from becoming symptomatic, which is why Antimicrobial Stewardship is often very involved.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: I am very excited about some of the work coming out on C. difficile prevention and control strategies including isolation, cleaning, and Antimicrobial Stewardship strategies to protect all of our patients.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Our patients depend on us to protect them from illnesses that are acquired or worsen in the hospital. I want to commend our colleagues in Infection Prevention and Control, Antimicrobial Stewardship, and Environmental Services who keep our patients safe and continue to innovate in order to make our hospitals even safer.

I don’t have relevant disclosures.

Citation:

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2019 Dec 11:1-5. doi: 10.1017/ice.2019.309. [Epub ahead of print]

Screening of Clostridioides difficile carriers in an urban academic medical center: Understanding implications of disease.

Baron SW, Ostrowsky BE, Nori P, Drory DY, Levi MH, Szymczak WA5, Rinke ML, Southern WN

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Last Modified: Dec 20, 2019 @ 9:13 pm 

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