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.

    Reply
    1. Infection Watch

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

      Dave
      cdifficile.org

      Reply
  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?

    Reply
    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
      cdifficile.org

      Reply

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