Clostridium difficileinfection in older adults

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Abstract

Clostridium difficile infection, the most frequent cause of nosocomial diarrhea, disproportionately affects older adults. The two most important risk factors for developing C. difficile infection are antimicrobial exposure and age >65 years old. Risk factors specific to older adults are frequent interactions with healthcare systems and age-related changes in physiology, including immune senescence and changes to the gut microbiome. Metronidazole and oral vancomcyin are the mainstays of conventional treatment for C. difficile infection. Alternative therapies include fidaxomicin, a narrow-spectrum macrocyclic antibiotic, and fectal bacteriotherapy, which offers an excellent therapeutic outcome. Strategies to prevent C. difficile infections include enhanced infection control measures and reducing inappropriate antimicrobial use through stewardship.

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