Clostridium Difficile : Leading Cause Bacterial Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea Worldwide

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Clostridium difficile is an obligate anaerobe, gram positive bacteria that has the ability to form spores. Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of nosocomial antibiotic associated diarrhea worldwide. C. difficile is an opportunist pathogen that utilizes many factors to infect and damage the host, often with overwhelming consequences. Symptoms range in severity from mild diarrhea to pseudomembranous colitis and toxic megacolon, the most severe form of disease, which often results in death (Awad, 2014).
Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive anaerobe bacteria meaning it does not have the ability to grow in the presence of oxygen. There are two different exotoxins produced by the organism Clostridium difficile, toxin A and toxin B. The organism produces spores which are the contagious particles of the bacterium. These spores are found all over our environment and in feces of both animals and humans. It is very hard to annihilate these spores due to them being resistant to alcohol, disinfectants, heat and radiation (Awad, 2014). Infection by C. difficile occurs through the fecal-oral route during ingestion of spores. As these spores pass through the gastrointestinal system, bile acids and other substances stimulate their germination. Toxins may be produced depending on the microflora that exists in the gastrointestinal tract. Colonization and proliferation, which are likely to involve numerous surface structures and adhesions, primarily occur in the suitably anaerobic

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