Clostridium difficile as a cause of healthcare-associated diarrhoea among children in Auckland, New Zealand: clinical and molecular epidemiology

  • V. Sathyendran
  • G. N. McAuliffe
  • T. Swager
  • J. T. Freeman
  • S. L. Taylor
  • S. A. Roberts
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10096-014-2139-2

Cite this article as:
Sathyendran, V., McAuliffe, G.N., Swager, T. et al. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis (2014) 33: 1741. doi:10.1007/s10096-014-2139-2

Abstract

We aimed to determine the incidence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), the molecular epidemiology of circulating C. difficile strains and risk factors for CDI among hospitalised children in the Auckland region. A cross-sectional study was undertaken of hospitalised children <15 years of age in two hospitals investigated for healthcare-associated diarrhoea between November 2011 and June 2012. Stool specimens were analysed for the presence of C. difficile using a two-step testing algorithm including polymerase chain reaction (PCR). C. difficile was cultured and PCR ribotyping performed. Demographic data, illness characteristics and risk factors were compared between children with and without CDI. Non-duplicate stool specimens were collected from 320 children with a median age of 1.2 years (range 3 days to 15 years). Forty-six patients (14 %) tested met the definition for CDI. The overall incidence of CDI was 2.0 per 10,000 bed days. The percentage of positive tests among neonates was only 2.6 %. PCR ribotyping showed a range of strains, with ribotype 014 being the most common. Significant risk factors for CDI were treatment with proton pump inhibitors [risk ratio (RR) 1.74, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.09–5.59; p = 0.002], presence of underlying malignancy (RR 2.71, 95 % CI 1.65–4.62; p = 0.001), receiving chemotherapy (RR 2.70, 95 % CI 1.41–4.83; p = 0.003) and exposure to antibiotics (RR 1.17, 95 % CI 0.99–1.17; p = 0.03). C. difficile is an important cause of healthcare-associated diarrhoea in this paediatric population. The notion that neonatal populations will always have high rates of colonisation with C. difficile may not be correct. Several risk factors associated with CDI among adults were also found to be significant.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Sathyendran
    • 1
  • G. N. McAuliffe
    • 2
  • T. Swager
    • 1
  • J. T. Freeman
    • 1
  • S. L. Taylor
    • 2
  • S. A. Roberts
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, LabPlusAuckland City HospitalAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Microbiology DepartmentMiddlemore HospitalAucklandNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations