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Clostridium difficile infection: a new threat on our doorstep

Rhonda L Stuart and Caroline Marshall
Med J Aust 2011; 194 (7): 331-332.
Published online: 4 April 2011

What can we do to prevent this from becoming the most common health care-associated infection in Australia?

Clostridium difficile, a gram-positive, anaerobic, spore-forming, toxigenic bacterium, is the most common infectious cause of nosocomial diarrhoea. The severity of infection varies from mild diarrhoea to pseudomembranous colitis, toxic megacolon and death.1 In the United States, C. difficile now rivals methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as the most common health care-associated infection, accounting for US$3.2 billion in excess costs annually.1,2

  • Rhonda L Stuart1
  • Caroline Marshall2,3

  • 1 Department of Infectious Diseases, Monash Medical Centre, Southern Health, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.


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