Incidence of enteric bacterial infections complicating Clostridium difficile infection (CDI)
The purpose of this study was to assess whether C. difficile infection (CDI) increases the risk of bacteremia or E. coli infection. The first specific aim of this study was to study the incidence of post C. difficile bacteremia in CDI patients stratified by disease severity vs. controls. The second specific aim was to study the incidence of post C. difficile E. coli infection from normally sterile sites stratified by disease severity vs. controls. This was a retrospective case case control study. The cases came from an ongoing prospective cohort study of CDI. Case group 1 were patients with mild to moderate CDI. Case group 2 were patients who had severe CDI. Controls were hospitalized patients given broad spectrum antibiotics that did not develop CDI. Controls were matched by age (±10 years) and duration of hospital visit (±1 week). 191 cases were selected from the cohort study and 191 controls were matched to the cases. Patients were followed up to 60 days after the initial diagnosis of CDI and assessed for bacteremia and E. coli infections. The Zar score was used to determine the severity of the CDI. Stata 11 was used to run all analyses.
The risk of non staphylococcal bacteremia after diagnosis of CDI was higher compared to controls (14% and 7% respectively, OR: 2.27; 95% CI:1.07-5.01, p=0.028). The risk of getting an E.coli infection was higher in cases than in controls (13% and 9% respectively although the results were not statistically significant (OR:1.4; 95% CI:0.38-5.59;p=0.32). Rates of non-staphylococcal bacteremia and E. coli infection did not differ cased on CDI severity.
This study showed that the risk of developing non-staphylococcus bacteremia was higher in patients with CDI compared to matched controls. The findings supported the hypothesis that CDI increases the risk of bacterial translocation specifically leading to the development of bacteremia.