Why do some people have recurrent C Diff infections?

Recurrent C Diff – What are the causes? This is an area where research is ongoing, but here are some of the possible reasons.

New infection from a new source

They have been reinfected through another hospital contact and a cycle of sickness has started again.

Recurrent c diff – the drugs calmed it rather than killing it

The drugs previously given subdued it but did not kill it. There is some evidence that some bacteria will ‘switch off’ and go dormant in their fight against vancocin. When the balance of the intestine is disturbed again by drug treatment for another illness the latent c diff is re-activated. A new but expensive drug called Dificid kills the c difficile bacteria and is linked to low to non existent return of c diff in treated patients.

You were reinfected again in the community

Little is known about the general prevelance of c difficile in the environment and community. Figures of 3-35% who might be ‘silent carriers’ are sometimes mentioned in the scientific literature. There is also a growing body of evidence that some are suffering c difficile infections without hospital contact. The possibility of community spread cannot be ruled out.

What is the solution?

The intestine can sometimes be so disturbed by drug treatment, infection and illness that it struggles to get right. The fecal transplant method now being explored in many hospitals does suggest that healthier fecal matter can restore the intestine to balance and break the cycle of illness. Find out moreĀ 

There are also some studies that suggest that people suffering from other intestinal complaints will be more vulnerable to repeat infections. Their medications may be a factor as may other changes in the gut bacteria with respect to the other condition.

More on C Difficile Treatment

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87 thoughts on “Why do some people have recurrent C Diff infections?

  1. Amy

    My son was 9 months when he got c-diff, and after 2.5 months of constant doctor visits and tests he was finally diagnosed with C-Diff. He’s been on Vanco pretty consistently since September. We were able to knock it down end of October 2015 and then got Croup and an antibiotic which brought the C-diff back. We did 1 10-day round of Vanco followed by a 1 month titration that ended 1/23/16. Tests today were positive for C-diff again. Trying to get into Mayo Clinic in MN for the fecal transplant in the mean time for him…but loosing my mind with a miserable 15 month old. He gets the Florajen 4 Kids probiotics twice daily while on the medication and we just can’t seem to kick this.

    1. Infection Watch

      Have you considered Dificid or Flaygl/Vancomycin – ask your doctor. These are often effective against chronic c diff


  2. Nicole

    My boyfriend had pancreatitis and got c diff while in hospital so was treated for like almost 2 weeks and thought it was his appendix but c diff again. I know u can have recurrent symptoms that it never leaves but are u always hospitalized for this? When does it stop? He’s on vanco and had to go back into hospital after being treated almost 2 months ago and again a week ago?

    1. Infection Watch

      Vanco does not have a stellar reputation in stopping the hardier versions of c diff. Some hospitals use vanco/flagyl combo and other go for Dificid which has a stronger reputation for actually stopping chronic c diff but is more expensive.

      Dave Roberts

  3. Elizabeth

    I would like to email or Facebook my mother this article but you only offer “twitter”, “google” and “redddit”. I’m not proficient with a social media and could use some help. My mother has suffered from 4 c-diff infections since 6-4-14 while being hospitalized over 12 time following a knee surgery that started this reoccurring condition. She underwent a fecal transplant in September, 2014 but the c-diff returned when doing a miralax prep for a follow-up colonoscopy to remove a large polyp that was discovered during the fecal transplant. C-diff then reared its ugly head again this January 2015 after being hospitalized due to an abscess involving a diverticulitis pocket rupture. Thank you for you consideration to add an “email” or “facebook” option. Sincerely Elizabeth

  4. Rhonda Howell

    My 22 year old daughter has been battling C-diff for nine months. She was hospitalized at one point for it. We have no idea why it keeps coming back, but she stays wiped out with no energy. Is there anything we can do other than the medications that she takes when it recurs to prevent this? I am very worried. She is adamantly against a fecal transplant and after seeing where it hasn’t really worked on people on here I am wondering if it is worth it to even try. Any advice you can give is appreciated.

      1. Debby Gallup

        I suffered with C Diff for 2 years, 11 recurrences. I had all the meds for C Diff, Flagyl, Vancomycin and Dificid. It’s been a year since my fecal transplant and it has not come back!! I would not hesitate to have another one if needed, the next day I felt so much better and have been C Diff free since. Debby

    1. Garnet Oltmann

      It appears you need to seek another doctor/doctors. The disease KILLS people. I almost died from it. Dificid is a great drug. I was in the hospital for 30 days and this is the only drug that took care of my problem. That was 4 years ago and I have not had a problem since then. Please go to another doctor/doctors until you find one that will take care of the problem. Your daughter is too young to have to live with this. After what I went though I would not have a problem with the fecal procedure. I am 71 years old. Not a problem for me after spending 30 days in hospital in another state. Trust me, c-diff is NOT something you want to let go on without treatment.

      Good Luck.


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