Fast Five Quiz: Clostridium difficile

B.S. Anand, MD


August 05, 2019

The primary risk factor for C difficile infection is previous exposure to antibiotics. The most commonly implicated agents include clindamycin, cephalosporins (especially second- and third-generation), fluoroquinolones, and ampicillin/amoxicillin. Less commonly implicated antibiotics include penicillins and macrolides (ie, erythromycin, clarithromycin, azithromycin). Agents associated with a moderate risk include aminoglycosides, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, metronidazole, chloramphenicol, tetracycline, imipenem, and meropenem. Even brief exposure to any single antibiotic can cause C difficile colitis. A prolonged antibiotic course or the use of two or more antibiotics increases the risk for disease.

Read more about antibiotics associated with C difficile infection.


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