May 22, 2015 – C.dif Treatment


Anchor lead:  Can a simple treatment reduce a common hospital-acquired infection? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Spores of clostridium difficile, an organism often responsible for diarrhea and sometimes death of hospitalized people, may be effective in preventing reccurence of the illness, a new study shows.  Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, reviews the problem.

Miller: C. dif is transmitted by spores, and the spores can live for quite a long time. Spores are not eradicated by Purell and other alcohol-based cleansers. Despite all of this attention on C. dif, we now hit almost 500,000 cases a year in the United States, with close to 30,000 deaths.  I think we have some preliminary results from this study that are quite exciting.  The thought of using an oral suspension of spores of nontoxigenic Clostridium difficile is very palatable.  :30

Spores, which are somewhat analogous to seeds, can be easily dispensed and taken orally.  Those who took the largest number of spores reduced their risk of recurrence by almost half when compared to those who didn’t take the spores.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.