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CLOSTRIDIUM difficile is a spore-forming bacillus currently increasing in prevalence and virulence, especially in hospital settings. It is capable of causing intestinal conditions ranging from mild diarrhea to fulminant, potentially fatal colitis. Testing is labor intensive and often inconclusive, and treatment can be problematic. Exposure to antibiotics can lead to what is known as CDAD (C. difficile-associated disease) – another instance of a cure causing as much harm as the disease! C. difficile is often transferred to patients via contaminated hands of health care personnel and remains a significant nosocomial issue.
Original images courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
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