Infection with Clostridium difficile, a Gram-positive spore-forming anaerobe, is the most common cause of nosocomial diarrhoea in developed countries and leads to symptoms that range from self-limiting mild-moderate watery diarrhea to severe fulminant diarrhea, abdominal pain and pseudomembranous colitis. In some patients it may progress to toxic megacolon, colonic perforation and death.
Over 500,000 new cases of C. difficile infection occur each year in the US and estimates suggest greater than 400,000 diagnosed CDI events occur annually in Europe, although the true incidence is likely to be much higher. Furthermore, the burden of CDI outside of the acute care hospital environment, particularly in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, is under-estimated.
There is therefore a need to develop a robust assessment of the burden of CDI and current practices in Europe.Scope:
Development of a detailed understanding of the epidemiology and clinical impact of CDI; more specifically to:
These efforts can be expected to result in the support of adequate public health intervention and practices. It will help in speeding up the development of alternative prevention and treatment approaches.