Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 198-199

Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin in antibiotic-associated diarrhea

Department of Gastroenterology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012, India

Correspondence Address:
Chetana Vaishnavi
Department of Gastroenterology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.41681

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Clostridium perfringens type A is associated with 5-20% cases of antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) even though Clostridium difficile is implicated in the most severe cases. Fecal specimens from one hundred hospitalized patients, who developed diarrhea regardless of antibiotic intake and who were negative for C. difficile toxin assay, were investigated for C. perfringens enterotoxin (CPE). Simultaneously, cultures were set up for other possible aetiological factors. Ten healthy controls were also similarly investigated. CPE was positive in 2/100 (2%) of the patients and the samples were also positive for the organism in culture. Other organisms isolated were non-toxigenic C. difficile (4%), staphylococci (6%), Candida (18%) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (1%). Stool samples from healthy controls grew mixed growth of no significance and CPE was negative in all of them. Detection of CPE is not part of routine laboratory investigation due to resource implication. Criteria for initiating investigations have to be therefore established by understanding the true burden of C. perfringens-associated AAD by further research

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