The classic patient profile for C. diff sufferers is someone who is old, rather ill, and receiving heavy duty antibiotics such as clindamycin, cephalosporins (which are routinely given before surgical procedures), and fluoroquinolones such as Cipro and Levaquin. Several times a year, I see a patient who has none of those characteristics but has big-time diarrhea due to C. diff. Here's disconcerting news about possible sources of community acquired C. diff.
- Meat in Tucson: Researchers there sampled both raw and "ready-to-eat" meat from supermarkets. 42% of the product tested was positive for toxigenic c. diff.(1)
- Ready-to-eat salads in Scotland: 7.5% of these "healthy choices" harbored virulent c. diff.(2)
- Meat in Canada: 20% prevalence, and more common in winter.(3)
1) Songer, JG et al. Emerg Infect Dis. 2009 May;15(5):819-21.
2) Bakri, MM et al. Emerg Infect Dis. 2009 May;15(5):817-8.
3) Rodriquez-Palacios A. et al. Emerg Infect Dis. 2009 May;15(5):802-5.
4) Vujia, DJ et al. Emerg Infect Dis. 2009 Jan;15(1):69-71.