Clostridium difficile infection symptoms, diagnosis and treatment in Kids


Clostridium difficile is a cause of diarrhea in kids. It is also responsible for generating a critical kind of colitis (inflammation of the colon) called pseudomembranous colitis. These diseases are often contracted in the hospital while a child is receiving antibiotic treatment, although illness may develop days or weeks after leaving the hospital. These anaerobic bacteria tend to be found normally in the gut of newborns and young kids. The illness is caused when the bacteria produce a toxin (poison) that damages the lining of the gut. This happens most frequently when your kid is taking antibiotics that kill other bacteria in the gut, permitting Clostridium difficile to multiply to high amounts. The incubation period for this illness is not understood. The bacteria can reside in the gut for extended periods without causing illness.

Signs and Symptoms of Clostridium difficile infection

Asymptomatic: some people may have no symptoms. This really is especially true in infants where up to 1/3 may be carriers of the bacteria. If someone has the bacteria within their intestines, they’re considered to be colonized with Clostridium difficile infection

  • Diarrhea: Clostridium difficile infection may cause inflammation in the colon referred to as colitis that may lead to diarrhea that often includes blood.
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss

How to diagnosis it?

To generate a correct identification, your kid’s stool can be analyzed for the existence of toxins created by Clostridium difficile.

Treatment for Clostridium difficile infection

Because antibiotic use and overuse is associated with Clostridium difficile infections, kids on antibiotics needs to be taken off these medicines when possible. In mild cases, kids may get better once they quit taking the antibiotics. Some kids, however, may need to be given special medicines like metronidazole or vancomycin that fight the bacteria. Most kids make a full recovery. If a relapse of the illness occurs, which happens in up to 10% to 20% of patients, exactly the same treatment is often repeated.

Prevention of Clostridium difficile infection

Clostridium difficile illness can form spores, which can live a long time and may spread fecal-orally. Adequate hand washing is vital that you avoid the spread of the illness. Hand washing with soap and water is more efficient than with alcohol hand cleaner. Proper cleaning of contaminated areas is vital to avoid the spread. Since Clostridium difficile infection is associated with antibiotic use, restricting the utilization of antibiotics can also be helpful.

Moreover, breastfeeding was proven to reduce colonization with Clostridium difficile infection.