Asymptomatic Carriers of C. Diff May Be Significant Source of Infection at Hospitals

By Christopher Cheney
December 12, 2019

In the hospital setting, screening for asymptomatic carriers of Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) at the time of admission could reduce infection rates, a study published in December says.

C. diff is a deadly diarrhea-associated infection, with more than 400,000 U.S. cases annually that are linked with nearly 30,000 deaths, earlier research shows. Hospitals have focused on reducing transmission of C. diff from symptomatic patients. However, the new study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology found asymptomatic carriers of C. diff spores are at significant risk of progression to symptomatic C. diff infection.

The lead author of the study says the new research could prompt hospitals to conduct screening of inpatients when they are admitted.