Methods: Adult inpatients at NorthShore University HealthSystem, IL hospitals between 1 August 2017 and 28 February 2018 were eligible for the study. Focused admission screening of patients at high risk of C. difficile carriage was performed: 1. history of CDI or colonization, 2. prior hospitalization past 2 months or 3. admission from a long-term care facility. A rectal swab was collected and tested using the cobas® Cdif Test (Roche) real-time PCR. The development of hospital onset CDI (HO-CDI) in colonized patients was monitored prospectively for at least 2 months. HO-CDI testing of colonized patients was performed using the Cepheid GeneXpert RT-PCR. HO-CDI was defined as patients hospitalized for at least 72 hours with 3 or more episodes of diarrhea/24 hours, in the absence of other potential causes of diarrhea. Patient demographics were collected using a standardized form and data analyzed using VassarStats.
Results: There were 6,104 patients enrolled in the study and 528 (8.7%) were positive on admission for toxigenic C. difficile carriage. The mean age of colonized patients was 75.5 years (range 24 -103) and 56.4% (298 patients) were females. Of 528 colonized patients, 21 (4%) had a positive CDI test. A total of 7 patients (1.3%) developed HO-CDI. Mean time to positive HO-CDI was 46.1 days (range 5-120 days). Of 5576 patients that were negative for C difficile carriage on admission, 14 (0.3%) patients developed HO-CDI. The relative risk of HO-CDI was 5.28 (95% CI: 2.14-13.03, p=0.05).
Conclusion: We found that 8.7% of at-risk admissions were asymptomatic toxigenic C. difficile carriers. While only 1.3% developed HO-CDI, asymptomatic carriers had a 5 times higher risk of subsequent CDI compared with non-carriers.
D. Schora, None
L. Peterson, None
K. Singh, None
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