Nearly 40,000 hospital bug cases missed each year

May 16, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—More than 39,000 cases of the hospital bug Clostridium difficile are missed in Europe each year because of a lack of clinical suspicion or inadequate lab testing, a Europe-wide study led by University of Leeds experts has found.

Findings from an international study into Clostridium difficile incidence (CDI) were presented at the 24th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Barcelona this week.

Data from 482 European hospitals reveals that in a single day, an average of 109 cases of CDI are missed due to a lack of clinical suspicion or inadequate laboratory testing, potentially leading to more than 39,000 missed cases in Europe each year.

"Countries with increased awareness of CDI have been able to improve early diagnosis and reduce outbreaks associated with the most virulent strains of CDI," said Professor Mark Wilcox, Professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Leeds.

"This study highlights that it is essential that we improve the implementation of testing in hospitals, in order to tackle the issue of the increasing incidence of the bug across Europe."

The European multi-centre, prospective bi-annual prevalence study of Clostridium difficile infection in hospitalised patients with diarrhoea (EUCLID) involved 482 hospitals from 20 European countries.

These full results compare data captured on two separate days, one in winter 2012/13 and one in summer 2013. On each of the assigned days, participating hospitals submitted all samples of unformed faeces to the 20 EUCLID national coordinating laboratories (NCL) across Europe. In total, 7,181 faecal samples were submitted by participating hospitals.

Results of this study highlighted marked recent shifts in CDI testing policy and methodology across Europe, resulting in improved testing policies and selection of laboratory methods. The data shows that false-positive rates decreased between the two study days in those countries where testing procedures and methods had improved.

Despite this, more than 50% of hospitals are still not using the most accurate testing procedure for CDI and more than one in five (21.8%) samples found to be positive for CDI at the NCL had not been tested at local level. In addition, the findings reveal that more than half (52.1%) of hospitals in Europe only test for CDI at a doctor's request.

"Guidelines exist recommending hospitals for CDI in all unformed stools of which the cause is undetermined. However we are still seeing an issue with both a lack of clinical suspicion and lack of testing for CDI", said Professor Wilcox. "CDI is a condition which causes considerable suffering for patients and is a huge economic burden to hospitals across Europe. These results reveal that there is still more to be done in order to optimise CDI management and prevention."

Explore further: Study finds serious C. Difficile rates on rise in hospitals

Related Stories

Study finds serious C. Difficile rates on rise in hospitals

March 17, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—The incidence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), which causes severe diarrhoea, acute toxic colitis and even death, is on the rise in Australian hospitals, according to a study led by researchers ...

Community-onset Clostridium difficile linked to higher risk of surgery

April 4, 2012
Patients whose symptoms of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) start outside of the hospital setting have a higher risk of colectomy due to severe infection, according to a large multicenter study funded by the Centers ...

Obesity may increase the risk of Clostridium difficile infection

October 24, 2013
Researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified obesity as a possible risk factor for clostridium difficile infection (CDI). These findings, which appear online ...

Anti-depressant link to Clostridium difficile infection

May 6, 2013
Certain types of anti-depressants have been linked to an increase in the risk of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) finds a study in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine. Awareness of this link should improve ...

Fecal transplant feasible for recurrent C. difficile infection

March 3, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Recurrent Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection (CDI) can successfully be treated in the vast majority of patients through a fecal transplantation procedure via colonoscopy, according to research published ...

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.