The management of Clostridioides difficile infection: from evidence to empirism
Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in clinical practice represents a challenge for its management and also prevention of recurrence. Even though there are updated guidelines for infection prevention, control and treatment, CDI remains a leading cause of healthcare acquired diarrhea with increasing incidence in the community. We present here a synthesis of the most recent international guidelines on the management of CDI.
In 2021 updated guidelines on the treatment of CDI in adults were published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID). These guidelines focused on CDI management in adults, including new data on the clinical efficacy of Fidaxomicin (FDX) and Bezlotoxumab. The 2017 publication of IDSA and SHEA - Clinical Practice Guidelines for Clostridium difficile infection also included pediatric treatment recommendations that are not a part of the 2021 update. Vancomycin (VAN) treatment for an initial CDI episode remains an acceptable alternative to FDX, considering the monetary and logistical challenge of acquiring FDX.
There is growing literature on fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and the 2021 guidelines describe its role in severe complicated refractory CDI cases and for which surgical management is not feasible. Moreover, there are new data on the secondary prophylaxis with VAN in refractory CDI in patients with risk factors who receive broad spectrum antibiotics.