Clostridium difficile infection: Current, forgotten and emerging treatment options

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Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has increased in incidence and severity, and is now among the most common nosocomial infections. Several agents are available for the initial treatment of CDI, some of which are rarely used, and none of which is clearly superior for initial clinical cure. Fidaxomicin appears to offer a benefit in terms of preventing recurrent disease, although the cost-benefit ratio is debated. Recurrent CDI is a major challenge, occurring after 15-30% of initial episodes. The treatment of recurrent CDI is difficult, with sparse evidence available to support any particular agent. Fecal microbiota therapy, also known as 'stool transplantation', appears to be highly effective, although availability is currently limited, and the regulatory environment is in flux. Synthetic stool products and an orally available fecal microbiota therapy product are both under investigation, which may address the problem of availability. As with most infectious diseases, an effective vaccine would be a welcome addition to our armamentarium, but none is currently available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-557
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Comparative Effectiveness Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Clostridium difficile infection
  • fecal microbiota therapy
  • fidaxomicin
  • metronidazole
  • vancomycin


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