Journal Article

Measures to Control and Prevent <i>Clostridium difficile</i> Infection

Dale N. Gerding, Carlene A. Muto and Robert C. Owens

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 46, issue Supplement_1, pages S43-S49
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/521861
Measures to Control and Prevent Clostridium difficile Infection

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Control of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) outbreaks in health care facilities presents significant challenges to infection control specialists and other health care workers. C. difficile spores survive routine environmental cleaning with detergents and hand hygiene with alcohol-based gels. Enhanced cleaning of all potentially contaminated surfaces with 10% sodium hypochlorite reduces the environmental burden of C. difficile, and use of barrier precautions reduces C. difficile transmission. Thorough handwashing with chlorhexidine or with soap and water has been shown to be effective in removing C. difficile spores from hands. Achieving high-level compliance with these measures is a major challenge for infection control programs. Good antimicrobial stewardship complements infection control efforts and environmental interventions to provide a comprehensive strategy to prevent and control outbreaks of CDI. The efficacy of metronidazole or vancomycin prophylaxis to prevent CDI in patients who are receiving other antimicrobials is unproven, and treatment with these agents is ineffective against C. difficile in asymptomatic carriers.

Journal Article.  5334 words. 

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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