Clostridioides difficile : diagnosis and treatments

Benoit Guery, Tatiana Galperine, Frédéric Barbut
BMJ: British Medical Journal 2019 August 20, 366: l4609
Clostridioides difficile (formerly Clostridium ) is a major cause of healthcare associated diarrhea, and is increasingly present in the community. Historically, C difficile infection was considered easy to diagnose and treat. Over the past two decades, however, diagnostic techniques have changed in line with a greater understanding of the physiopathology of C difficile infection and the use of new therapeutic molecules. The evolution of diagnosis showed there was an important under- and misdiagnosis of C difficile infection, emphasizing the importance of algorithms recommended by European and North American infectious diseases societies to obtain a reliable diagnosis. Previously, metronidazole was considered the reference drug to treat C difficile infection, but more recently vancomycin and other newer drugs are shown to have higher cure rates. Recurrence of infection represents a key parameter in the evaluation of new drugs, and the challenge is to target the right population with the adapted therapeutic molecule. In multiple recurrences, fecal microbiota transplantation is recommended. New approaches, including antibodies, vaccines, and new molecules are already available or in the pipeline, but more data are needed to support the inclusion of these in practice guidelines. This review aims to provide a baseline for clinicians to understand and stratify their choice in the diagnosis and treatment of C difficile infection based on the most recent data available.

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