Orenstein R, Patron RL, Seville MT. Why Does Clostridium difficile Infection Recur?. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2019;119(5):322–326. doi: https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2019.054.
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Clostridium (or Clostridioides) difficile infection affects more than 500,000 people annually in the United States, one-third of whom have recurrent symptoms. The evolution of C difficile as a resilient pathogen has to do with its ability to persist in the environment and in the host, leading to recurrence and environmental spread. Understanding the mechanisms by which this microbe interacts with the environment, the host, and the gut microbiota are critical to solving this problem. This article presents a brief clinical vignette; discusses the current state of understanding of colonization, transmission, and recurrence; and considers the role the host plays in eliminating this infection. The understanding of these mechanisms and application of osteopathic principles has the potential to improve patient outcomes.
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