- C difficile bacteria can be found in human excretment. It lives in the large bowel (colon).
- Some C. difficile bacteria produce toxins that can cause diarrhea.
- It can also change to a tougher, harder to kill spore.
- Spores can survive hot and cold temperatures and are resistant to the action of many chemicals, including the alcohol-based hand sanitizers often found in hospitals.
- Because they then ‘hang around’ the spores can infect others
- A healthy large bowel has many bacteria.
- Not all of them are destructive and in many cases they stop c difficile from growing if a person is a carrier of the bacteria.
- Antibiotic treatment for other conditions can sometimes kill the bacteria that are holding C difficile in check.
- If the C. difficile strains in a persons stomach are the type that produce toxins, these toxins may make you sick.
- The diarrhea and other symptoms that you may develop in these situations are called Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD)
- (Not all diarrhea while taking antibiotics is caused by C. difficile.)