Iranian Journal of Microbiology 2018. 10(1):1-6.

A prospective cross sectional study of detection of Clostridium difficile toxin in patients with antibiotic associated diarrhoea
Arun Sachu, Kavitha Dinesh, Ismail Siyad, Anil Kumar, Anu Vasudevan, Shamsul Karim


Background and Objectives: Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) include self-limiting antibiotic associated diarrhoea (AAD), antibiotic-associated colitis, and pseudomembranous colitis. The present study aimed at detecting C. difficile toxin in stool samples of patients with AAD and analyzing the antibiotic use and presence of other risk factors in these patients.

Materials and Methods: In this study, which was conducted on 660 samples, a 2- step strategy was used. In the first step, glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) was detected in stool samples by enzyme- linked immunofluorescent assay (ELFA). In the second step, GDH positive samples were tested for C. difficile toxin A and B by ELFA. Nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) was also performed on few samples that were found to be GDH positive and toxin negative or equivocal by ELFA.

Results: Of the 660 samples screened, toxin was detected in 8.8% (58/660) by ELFA and 9.7% (64/660) by NAAT. GDH was detected in 23.8% (157/660) and toxin in 36.9% (58/157) of the GDH positives. Most of the toxin positive patients were on one or more antibiotics prior to developing diarrhoea. The implicated antibiotics were meropenem, amikacin, colistin and cephalosporins. Diabetes, hypertension, use of proton pump inhibitors, previous hospitalization, malignancy and chemotherapy were found to be the risk factors in our study.

Conclusion: Prevalence of GDH was 23.8% (157/660) by ELFA. Toxin prevalence was 9.7% (64/660). Detection rates of C. difficile associated diarrhoea (CDAD) increased with inclusion of NAAT testing by ELFA.


Clostridium difficile; Toxin; Antibiotic associated diarrhoea

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