Clostridium difficile colonization in preoperative colorectal cancer patients
Few studies on risk factors for and transmission of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in China have been reported. A cross-sectional study was conducted for 3 years in eastern China. Consecutive stool specimens from hospitalized patients with diarrhea were cultured for C. difficile. C. difficile isolates from these patients then were analyzed for toxin genes, genotypes, and antimicrobial resistance. A severity score for the CDI in each patient was determined by a blinded review of the medical record, and these scores ranged from 1 to 6. A total of 397 out of 3,953 patients (10.0%) with diarrhea were found to have CDI. Severity of CDI was mild to moderate, and the average (± standard deviation) severity score was 2.61 ± 1.01. C. difficile was isolated from stool specimens in 432 (10.9%) of all the patients who had diarrhea. C. difficile genotypes were determined by multilocus sequence analysis and PCR ribotyping; sequence type 37 (ST37)/ribotype 017 (RT017) (n = 68, 16.5%) was the dominant genotype. Eleven patients (16.2%) with this genotype had a CDI severity score of 5. Overall, three RTs and four STs were predominant; these genotypes were associated with significantly different antimicrobial resistance patterns in comparison to all genotypes (χ2 = 79.56 to 97.76; P < 0.001). Independent risk factors associated with CDI included age greater than 55 years (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 26.80 [18.76 to 38.29]), previous hospitalization (12.42 [8.85 to 17.43]), previous antimicrobial treatment within 8 weeks (150.56 [73.11 to 310.06]), hospital stay more than 3 days before sampling (2.34 [1.71 to 3.22]), undergoing chemotherapy (3.31 [2.22 to 4.92]), and undergoing abdominal surgery (4.82 [3.54 to 6.55]). CDI is clearly a problem in eastern China and has a prevalence of 10.0% in hospitalized patients. Among risk factors for CDI, the advanced age threshold was younger for Chinese patients than that reported for patients in developed countries.