BACTERIAL INFECTIONClostridium difficile infections an emerging problem in healthcare facilitiesCristina, Maria Luisa; Spagnolo, Anna Maria; Sartini, Marina; Panatto, Donatella; Perdelli, FernandaAuthor Information Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy. Correspondence to Anna Maria Spagnolo, Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Via Pastore, 1-16132 Genoa, Italy. Tel: +39 010 353 8859; fax: +39 010 353 8216; e-mail: [email protected] Received 10 May, 2012 Accepted 20 June, 2012 Reviews in Medical Microbiology: October 2012 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 67-75 doi: 10.1097/MRM.0b013e3283573643 Buy Metrics Abstract Clostridium difficile infection is one of the most common nosocomial infections and a frequent cause of morbidity and mortality among elderly hospitalized patients. It is recognized as a major cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and colitis. The incidence of C. difficile infection has risen markedly worldwide since 2003, probably owing to the increased use of intestinal flora-depleting antibiotics and the introduction of hypervirulent strains (PCR ribotypes 027 and 078) associated with outbreaks and increased mortality. The key to reducing the risk of infection in healthcare facilities is to prevent the transmission of C. difficile. Infection control practices include the early diagnosis of C. difficile infection, surveillance, appropriate use of isolation precautions, staff training, hand hygiene, environmental cleaning, good antibiotic stewardship and specific measures during outbreaks. © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.