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Clostridium Difficile

A "spindle" or rod shaped bacterium normally present in the digestive tract that can cause disease when growth goes unchecked. The bug was named for being "difficult to please" in relation to its inability to be isolated from cultures in the wild.

  • Aka C. diff, normal flora, infectious diarrhea, pseudomembranous colitis
  • Grampositive, rodshaped, sporeforming bacterium, normally a minor part of the colonic flora, that causes infectious diarrhea, pseudomembranous colitis, and rarely, toxic megacolon when competing colonic bacteria are eliminated by antibiotic treatment
  • MAJOR TEST POINT FOR BOARDS!!!! Hand washing with soap and water are the only way to kill spores that contaminate the skin!! Alcohol based hand rubs are ineffective and therefore are never the answer when leaving a patient's room with C.diff.
  • C. diff, renamed in 1970, was initially named Bacillus difficilis by Hall and O' Toole in 1935 because it was resistant to early attempts at isolation and grew very slowly in culture.

  • MedyQuestion
    • A 66 year old man with medical history significant for hypertension and type II diabetes currently being hospitalized for pneumonia begins to develop foul smelling, watery diarrhea on the fourth day of his hospitalization. The patient is started on oral metronidazole and C.diff stool samples are sent. After 3 days on metronidazole, the diarrhea persists. What drug and through which route should it be administered to treat this patient?

    USMLE Step 1