A new US CDC study has linked C. difficile infections to healthcare environments other than hospitals. It finds that 150,000 people were infected in 2011 despite not having been in the hospital—and that of those people, 82% had been to a doctor or dentist within the 12 weeks prior to their diagnosis.
The CDC is now looking to determine whether people are acquiring C. difficile in the primary healthcare environment, or whether there is another reason for the connection. Other possibilities could be that the patients sought care from their doctor as a result of their infection, or that patients who were prescribed antibiotics during their visit became more susceptible.
The study can be found at N Engl J Med 2015; 372:825-834 February 26, 2015DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1408913