Clostridium difficile

Clostridium difficile is a bacteria that can cause severe diarrhea or “colitis”. It most commonly develops after taking a course of antibiotics, in part because bacteria that usually are protective in the gastrointestinal tract may be killed off.

Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fevers. Complications can include renal failure, sepsis, dehydration, or even bowl dilation and perforation.

The most commonly used antibiotics for treatment include Flagyl ( metronidazole), Vancomycin, and Dificid ( fidaxomicin). Unfortunately even with appropriate antibiotics, relapses are not uncommon and can develop in 20-25% of first time cases. When this occurs options include using a different antibiotic, a more prolonged course of an antibiotic, or fecal transplants- essentially to try to repopulate the colon with protective bacteria.

At Lakeshore Infectious Disease all the above treatments are available, including FMT ( fecal transplant) with donor stool obtained from the stool bank Openbiome. We also have access to clinical trials, if appropriate.

Clostridium difficile information for patients, CDC:

Fecal transplants: