What is C Difficile Infection? Too many bacteria in the gut are very harmful. It can even be life-threatening if infected with Clostridium difficile.
The prevalence of Clostridium difficile infection or Clostridium bacteria in Asian countries is very low. Meanwhile, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2017, 223,900 U.S. residents were hospitalized, while 12,800 died from this deadly bacteria.
Clostridium difficile bacteria are the main cause of diarrhea that is dangerous to humans and animals because it causes death where there is an increase of about 28 percent from 2006. Even in the 2019 report, the CDC said that Clostridium difficile is a serious threat.
What is C Difficile Infection?
Clostridium difficile or C. Diff is an infectious bacterium that causes a condition known as clostridium difficile colitis. Colitis refers to inflammation of the intestinal wall that can cause a variety of symptoms.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) between 5 to 15 percent of healthy older persons and 84.4 percent of newborns and healthy babies have C. Diff in their gastrointestinal tract or intestines.
However, the good bacteria that live in the gut usually keep the amount C. Diff under control. However, if there is an imbalance in the amount of good bacteria of the intestine with C. Diff then there can be an infection in your intestines.
What is c diff infection symptoms?
Typical signs and symptoms of clostridium difficile infection are:
- Watery diarrhea 10-15 times a day
- Cramps and pain in the stomach that can worsen
- BLOODY bowel movements
- Nausea and vomiting
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss.
More severe diseases can be inflamed colon (colitis) or parts of the colon tissue that can bleed or fester (pseudomembranous colitis).
Some other symptoms or signs may not be listed above. If you feel anxious about the symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.
What is clostridium difficile infection caused by?
The most common cause of clostridium difficile infection is due to the long-term use of antibiotics such as clindamycin, penicillins, fluoroquinolones, and cephalosporins. When you take these antibiotics to fight the bad bacteria that cause infection, good bacteria in the gut are also affected. This makes the bad bacteria C. Diff multiply abnormally. The uncontrolled growth of C. Diff bacteria produce toxins that attack the lining of the intestine. As a result, the intestines experience inflammation that causes watery diarrhea.
Bacteria C. Diff itself can be found anywhere, such as in soil, water, human and animal feces, as well as food products such as processed meats. Some healthy people also naturally carry C. Diff bacteria in the gut, but they do not have the adverse effects of these bacteria.
In addition, exposure to bacteria and spores can also be spread through contact with dirt and contaminated surfaces or food, including pots, furniture, linen, and toilet seats.
C difficile infection risk factors
Most C. Difficile infections occur in hospitals or other health care places. In this environment, many people take antibiotics or have a weakened immune system.
Those at higher risk of becoming ill from C. Difficile infections include those who:
- Use antibiotics for a long time
- Use various types of antibiotics or antibiotics that target a wide range of bacteria
- Recently using antibiotics or spending time in hospital, especially if this is for a long time
- 65 years of age or older.
- Living in a long-term care facility or nursing home
- Have reduced immune activity, such as those taking immunosuppressant drugs to treat autoimmune conditions
- Recently underwent abdominal or gastrointestinal surgery
- Has a colon condition
- Have had C. Difficile infection before
C-difficile infection transmission
Bacteria C. diff is found in infected feces. All surfaces of the room, tools of materials contaminated with feces are a good home for these bacteria. Contagion occurs when a person touches infected feces then touches his mouth without washing his hands first.
C difficile infection prevention
For prevention of transmission of bacteria C. Diff can be done the following steps
- Wash your hands using water and soap in a regular way
- Use gloves when in contact with people with C. Diff
- Cleaning all surfaces, tools and materials that are connected with this bacteria
- Use antibiotics rationally.