Clostridium difficile in Children: A Review of Existing and Recently Uncovered Evidence

  • Oliver Morris
  • Marc Tebruegge
  • Ann Pallett
  • Steve M. Green
  • Andrew D. Pearson
  • Andrew Tuck
  • Stuart C. Clarke
  • Paul Roderick
  • Saul N. FaustEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 764)


The clinical significance of the presence of Clostridium difficile in children’s faeces remains uncertain using current diagnostic procedures. Clostridium difficile is a relatively common finding in infants with no symptoms of gastrointestinal disease, suggesting it may be an incidental finding and form part of the normal gut micro-flora in this age group. On the other hand, particularly in older children or those with significant co-morbidity, there are examples where C. difficile causes disease and exerts considerable morbidity and even mortality (C. difficile infection, CDI). Between these extremes lie a substantial group of children who have both diarrhoea and C. difficile in their stools but where the nature of the association is not clear: Clostridium difficile associated disease (CDAD). We review the significance of C. difficile in children presenting recently uncovered paediatric data from a large UK epidemiological study that informs some key unanswered questions.


Clostridium Difficile Asymptomatic Child Toxigenic Culture Nosocomial Diarrhoea National Health Service Hospital Trust 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This review was carried out as part of OM’s UK National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Academic Foundation placement at the University of Southampton and was supported by the University of Southampton NIHR Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility (WTCRF). SNF and MT were funded by the UK NIHR via the NIHR WTCRF and and NIHR Clinical Lectureship respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Morris
    • 1
  • Marc Tebruegge
    • 2
  • Ann Pallett
    • 3
  • Steve M. Green
    • 4
  • Andrew D. Pearson
    • 5
  • Andrew Tuck
    • 6
  • Stuart C. Clarke
    • 6
  • Paul Roderick
    • 7
  • Saul N. Faust
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Academic Unit of Clinical & Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, NIHR Wellcome Trust Clinical Research FacilityUniversity of Southampton, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation TrustSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.Academic Unit of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Southampton, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation TrustSouthamptonUK
  3. 3.University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation TrustSouthamptonUK
  4. 4.Health Protection AgencySouthamptonUK
  5. 5.Department of Advanced Computational BiologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  6. 6.Academic Unit of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Southampton and Health Protection AgencySouthamptonUK
  7. 7.Academic Unit of Primary Care and Population Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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