C. diff. infection is caused by a bacteria that infects the large intestine (colon). Symptoms might vary from diarrhea to a life-threatening intestinal injury. It mostly affects older people in hospitals or long-term clinics.

In the general population, certain strains of bacteria may cause severe illnesses or are more likely to affect children.


Intestinal C. difficile bacteria may spread illnesses. Signs and symptoms normally appear after 5-10 days of beginning antibiotics, although they might appear as early as the initial day or even three months later.

Signs and symptoms of C. diff. Infection includes:

  • Severe abdominal pain and cramping
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Kidney failure
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Blood in the stool
  • Watery diarrhea up to 10 to 15 times each day
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fever
  • Increased white blood cell count
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss

C. diff. infection may induce intestinal inflammation and life-threatening sepsis. These patients were admitted to the ICU.


C. diff. infection is diagnosed by the presence of:

  • C. diff. in a stool sample
  • Diarrhea
  • Other signs and symptoms

Regular stools must not be tested for C. difficile. C. diff. infection may be diagnosed without medicines.

  • Stool tests. Strains of bacteria that generate toxins may be identified in laboratory testing of a stool sample, allowing C. difficile infection to be diagnosed.
  • Colon Examination. Flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy may diagnose C. diff. infection and rule out other reasons in rare situations. A flexible tube with a tiny camera is inserted into the colon to detect inflammation or abnormal tissue.
  • Imaging tests. An abdominal X-ray or CT scan may detect C. difficile infection consequences such as a hole in the lining, bowel enlargement, and a thickening of the colon wall.


Treatments are only administered if a person exhibits signs or symptoms of C. diff. infection. Individuals who are carriers of the bacteria but are not ill are not treated.


Antibiotics are the primary treatment for C. difficile infection. Fidaxomicin (Dificid), Vancomycin (Vancocin HCL, Firvanq), and Metronidazole (Flagyl) may be used in conjunction with vancomycin to treat severe C. difficile infection. Your doctor may advise you to take a different antibiotic that is less likely to cause diarrhea.


In certain circumstances, surgery to remove the diseased part of the colon may be required, such as:

  • Organ failure
  • Inflammation of the abdominal wall lining
  • Severe pain
  • Toxic megacolon

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