23 January 2017

Reduced Risks of C. difficile Recurrence Thanks to a Sherbrooke Researcher

A significant scientific breakthrough regarding Clostridum difficile infection, commonly known as C. difficile, has just been made by a Sherbrooke researcher and his team.

Dr. Alex Carignan, microbiologist / infectious disease specialist as well as professor and researcher at the CHUS’ research centre (CRCHUS) and at the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Sherbrooke, and his team have discovered that the oral administration of vancomycin (an antibiotic that targets C. difficile), along with another antibiotic that does not target this condition (for example, an antibiotic for pneumonia) reduces the recurrence of the infection in patients who have previously experienced a relapse.

C difficile often occurs following antibiotic treatment, which may have a significant impact on the balance of intestinal flora.

Taking antibiotics is also a contributing factor to the risk of recurrence of the infection. Among the 551 patients who were treated with antibiotics 90 days following diagnosis of C. difficile infection, 33% experienced relapse, which may trigger severe complications in more vulnerable patients, such as the sick and the elderly, and lead to prolonged hospitalization, and even death.

Furthermore, although the method is already used by the CHUS and in other hospitals in Québec, its effectiveness had not yet been proven. Through this study, Dr. Carignan has discovered that the process can reduce the risk of recurrence by 50%; these results were published in the September edition of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Source: CRCHUS and La Tribune
Photo credit: Université de Sherbrooke



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