Laboratory-based strategy using a new marketed polymerase chain reaction assay to manage diarrheic episodes among patients from rehabilitation and long-term care facilities

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Management of Norovirus and Clostridium difficile gastroenteritis is challenging for rehabilitation and long-term care facilities. We evaluated the contribution of a 2-step laboratory-based strategy, including a new ready-to-use Norovirus polymerase chain reaction assay to promote isolation precautions. C difficile and Norovirus were successively identified from 17% and 23% of 52 episodes of diarrhea, respectively, during the winter season, leading to 100% adequate isolation measures. In patient populations with numerous risk factors for diarrhea, a combined laboratory-based approach could improve infection control.

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