Tag Archives: cdiff

What Is SARS-CoV-2 and the Disease It Causes Named coronavirus disease 2019 or Better Known As COVID-19

 

 

 

What is Coronavirus?

The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “COVID-19.”

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause respiratory illnesses in humans ranging from common colds to more severe conditions such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

‘Novel coronavirus’ is a new, previously unidentified strain of coronavirus. The novel coronavirus involved in the current outbreak has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (or “COVID-19”).

 

LISTEN AT YOUR LEISURE

Special Episode with Dr. Teena Chopra, MD, MPH

and Jennifer Wood, C. diff. Survivor – discussing the COVID-19 and C. difficile infection information

 

How does the virus spread?

COVID-19 can spread from person to person usually through close contact with an infected person or through respiratory droplets that are dispersed into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  It may also be possible to get the virus by touching a surface or object contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes, but it is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

 

 

Where has COVID-19 spread to?

As of the March 6, 2020, there are over 95,000 confirmed cases of infection by the virus—and 3,381 of that number have resulted in death. While most cases of COVID-19 infection are in China, the virus has spread to 88 other countries.

What are the symptoms?

Similar to other respiratory illnesses, the symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

People infected with COVID-19 may experience any range of these symptoms along with aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat and diarrhea. Symptoms can start to show up anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus3. It may be possible for an infected person who is not yet showing any symptoms to spread the virus. Older persons, and those with pre-existing medical illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, however, seem to be more likely to experience severe respiratory symptoms and complications.

How to protect yourself from coronavirus

The best preventative action is to avoid being exposed to the virus. You can do this by taking a few cautionary steps—the same as you would if you were trying to avoid getting any respiratory illness.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. If soap and water are not readily accessible, use alcohol-based sanitizers.
  2. Avoid contact with sick people.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands if they are unwashed.
  4. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you sneeze or cough. Make sure to dispose of the tissue immediately.
  5. If you are feeling unwell, stay home.
  6. If you have no respiratory symptoms such cough, a medical mask is not necessary.  Only use the mask if you have symptoms such as coughing or sneezing or suspect a COVID-19 infection. A mask is recommended for those caring for anyone with COVID-19.

What to do if you suspect you are infected?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to those of a cold or the flu, making it challenging to identify the specific cause of any respiratory symptoms. If you suspect you have been infected by COVID-19, you should seek medical care as soon as possible.

Until you can access medical care, you should follow these guidelines to reduce your likelihood of infecting others:

  • Restrict your outdoor activities and stay at home as much as you can. If it is feasible, stay in a separate room, and use a different bathroom from others in your household.
  • Clean and/or disinfect objects and surfaces that you touch regularly.
  • Track your symptoms as accurately as possible, so you can provide medical personnel with useful information.

Are there any treatments or vaccines?

There are currently no treatments, drugs, or vaccines available to treat or prevent COVID-19. People infected with the virus should receive medical treatment to relieve and alleviate the symptoms they are experiencing.

For Additional Information Please Visit the CDC Website:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

 

Resource:  https://www.gethealthystayhealthy.com/articles/what-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19-explained

What Is SARS-CoV-2 and the Disease It Causes Named coronavirus disease 2019 or Better Known As COVID-19

 

 

 

What is Coronavirus?

The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “COVID-19.”

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause respiratory illnesses in humans ranging from common colds to more severe conditions such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

‘Novel coronavirus’ is a new, previously unidentified strain of coronavirus. The novel coronavirus involved in the current outbreak has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (or “COVID-19”).

 

LISTEN AT YOUR LEISURE

Special Episode with Dr. Teena Chopra, MD, MPH

and Jennifer Wood, C. diff. Survivor – discussing the COVID-19 and C. difficile infection information

 

How does the virus spread?

COVID-19 can spread from person to person usually through close contact with an infected person or through respiratory droplets that are dispersed into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  It may also be possible to get the virus by touching a surface or object contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes, but it is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

 

 

Where has COVID-19 spread to?

As of the March 6, 2020, there are over 95,000 confirmed cases of infection by the virus—and 3,381 of that number have resulted in death. While most cases of COVID-19 infection are in China, the virus has spread to 88 other countries.

What are the symptoms?

Similar to other respiratory illnesses, the symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

People infected with COVID-19 may experience any range of these symptoms along with aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat and diarrhea. Symptoms can start to show up anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus3. It may be possible for an infected person who is not yet showing any symptoms to spread the virus. Older persons, and those with pre-existing medical illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, however, seem to be more likely to experience severe respiratory symptoms and complications.

How to protect yourself from coronavirus

The best preventative action is to avoid being exposed to the virus. You can do this by taking a few cautionary steps—the same as you would if you were trying to avoid getting any respiratory illness.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. If soap and water are not readily accessible, use alcohol-based sanitizers.
  2. Avoid contact with sick people.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands if they are unwashed.
  4. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you sneeze or cough. Make sure to dispose of the tissue immediately.
  5. If you are feeling unwell, stay home.
  6. If you have no respiratory symptoms such cough, a medical mask is not necessary.  Only use the mask if you have symptoms such as coughing or sneezing or suspect a COVID-19 infection. A mask is recommended for those caring for anyone with COVID-19.

What to do if you suspect you are infected?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to those of a cold or the flu, making it challenging to identify the specific cause of any respiratory symptoms. If you suspect you have been infected by COVID-19, you should seek medical care as soon as possible.

Until you can access medical care, you should follow these guidelines to reduce your likelihood of infecting others:

  • Restrict your outdoor activities and stay at home as much as you can. If it is feasible, stay in a separate room, and use a different bathroom from others in your household.
  • Clean and/or disinfect objects and surfaces that you touch regularly.
  • Track your symptoms as accurately as possible, so you can provide medical personnel with useful information.

Are there any treatments or vaccines?

There are currently no treatments, drugs, or vaccines available to treat or prevent COVID-19. People infected with the virus should receive medical treatment to relieve and alleviate the symptoms they are experiencing.

For Additional Information Please Visit the CDC Website:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

 

Resource:  https://www.gethealthystayhealthy.com/articles/what-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19-explained

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Issued a Safety Alert About Potential Risks of Serious, Even Life-Threatening Infections Linked To Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday issued a safety alert about the potential risk of serious, even life-threatening, infections linked to fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) after six patients were infected with diarrhea-causing Escherichia coli following the procedure.  March 13, 2020

According to the alert, two patients developed enteropathogenic E coli (EPEC) infections, and four developed Shiga toxin–producing E coli (STEC), after receiving FMT for Clostridoides difficile infection. Four of the six patients required hospitalization.

“FDA is informing patients and healthcare providers of the potential risk of transmission of pathogenic bacteria by FMT products and the resultant serious adverse reactions that may occur,” the agency said. “Patients considering FMT for the treatment of C. difficile infection should speak to their health care provider to understand the associated risks.”

STEC is a pathogenic form of E coli that causes abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and mild fever. EPEC generally doesn’t cause any symptoms, but some strains can cause diarrhea.

Change in screening protocols

The stool used in the procedures all came from Boston-based OpenBiome, the country’s largest stool bank. The company said in a press release yesterday that the cases are the first reports of likely transmission of pathogens by FMT involving stool that came from OpenBiome, which has shipped more than 50,000 FMT treatments to physicians since 2013.

The patients who developed the infections received FMT product prepared from three OpenBiome donors. The two patients who developed EPEC infections were treated with stool from two donors, and the six STEC patients received stool from one donor. OpenBiome says all unused material from the donors has been destroyed.

The FDA says bacterial isolates from the patients’ stools are not yet available to determine if the STEC or EPEC organisms are genetically identical to the organisms from the stool donors—a finding that would confirm that the donor stool was the source of the infection.

In response to the safety alert, OpenBiome says it is immediately implementing changes to its screening program in collaboration with the FDA.

While the company has previously screened donor samples for STEC via enzyme immunoassay, and says the donor involved in the STEC cases tested negative at all screens, OpenBiome will add polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for STEC to its screening process. PCR tests on retained donor samples conducted after Openbiome was notified of the infections were found to be positive for STEC.

The retained stool samples from the donors linked to the EPEC infections were found to be positive for EPEC upon further testing from OpenBiome. The company says it has not previously screened donors for EPEC, a position based on international and national guidelines, but will immediately implement EPEC screening by PCR into its donor screening protocol.

“In addition to updating and implementing STEC and EPEC screening into our quality and safety protocols, OpenBiome is also working with FDA to implement retrospective screening of units to ensure that available material meets these new standards,” the company said.

After reporting the infections to the FDA, OpenBiome received information that two additional FMT recipients who received stool from the donor linked to the STEC infections had died. The company said in an update today that the treating clinician for one of the patients determined that the patient had died from underlying cardiac causes, and testing for STEC was not performed. In the second case, testing of donor material was negative for STEC.

“Therefore, it was determined that the death was unrelated to STEC,” the company said.

FMT safety issues

FMT has been found in several studies to be a highly effective treatment for recurrent C difficile infections that aren’t responding to antibiotics, and at least 10,000 FMT procedures for recurrent C difficile are performed each year. FMT is also being investigated for treating other conditions in more than 300 trials.

The idea behind the procedure is to introduce healthy bacteria from a donor into the gut microbiome of a sick recipient and restore the balance between good and bad bacteria.

But this is the second safety alert issued by the FDA regarding FMT. In June 2019, the agency warned of the potential for dangerous infections after two FMT patients developed drug-resistant bloodstream infections and one died, and the agency halted a number of FMT trials until additional screening measures could be put in place. A subsequent paper in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that the two patients, both of whom were enrolled in clinical trials at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, had extended-spectrum beta-lacatamase (ESBL)-producing E coli in their blood.

The two patients had both received stool from Mass General that came from the same donor. While the hospital had screened the stool for C difficile and the presence of drug-resistant pathogens by the hospital, it had not screened it for ESBL-producing E coli. The authors of the paper could not conclusively attribute the infections to FMT, but suspected the patients likely acquired the pathogen from the procedure.

RESOURCE:  http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/03/fda-warns-about-infections-linked-fecal-microbiota-transplants?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium

 

 

First Isolation of C.diff. PCR Ribotype 027 and Epidemiological Research of CDI in Hospitalized Adults In Tongji Hospital, Central China

Abstract

Author Information: Zhou Y1, Mao L2, Yu J2, Lin Q2, Luo Y2, Zhu X3, Sun Z4.

BACKGROUND:

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is an emerging healthcare problem in the world. The purpose of this study was to perform a systematic epidemiological research of CDI in Tongji hospital, the central of China.

METHODS:

Stool samples from hospitalized adults suspected of CDI were enrolled. The diagnosis of CDI were based on the combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory results. Clinical features of CDI and non-CDI patients were compared by appropriate statistical tests to determine the risk factors of CDI. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was employed for molecular epidemiological analysis. Susceptibility testing and relevant antimicrobial agent resistance genes were performed as well.

RESULTS:

From June 2016 to September 2017, 839 hospitalized adults were enrolled. Among them, 107 (12.8%, 107/839) patients were C. difficile culture positive, and 73 (8.7%, 73/839) were infected with toxigenic C. difficile (TCD), with tcdA + tcdB+ strains accounting for 90.4% (66/73) and tcdA-tcdB+ for 9.6% (7/73). Meanwhile, two TCD strains were binary toxin positive and one of them was finally identified as CD027. Severe symptoms were observed in these two cases. Multivariate analysis indicated antibiotic exposure (p = 0.001, OR = 5.035) and kidney disease (p = 0.015, OR = 8.329) significantly increased the risk of CDI. Phylogenetic tree analysis demonstrated 21 different STs, including one new ST (ST467); and the most dominant type was ST54 (35.6%, 26/73). Multidrug-resistant (MDR) TCD were 53.4% (39/73); resistance to ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, and clindamycin were > 50%. Other antibiotics showed relative efficiency and all strains were susceptible to metronidazole and vancomycin. All moxifloxacin-resistant isolates carried a mutation in GyrA (Thr82 → Ile), with one both having mutation in GyrB (Ser366 → Ala).

CONCLUSIONS:

Knowledge of epidemiological information for CDI is limited in China. Our finding indicated tcdA + tcdB+ C. difficile strains were the dominant for CDI in our hospital. Significant risk factors for CDI in our setting appeared to be antibiotic exposure and kidney disease. Metronidazole and vancomycin were still effective for CDI. Although no outbreak was observed, the first isolation of CD027 in center China implied the potential spread of this hypervirulent clone. Further studies are needed to enhance our understanding of the epidemiology of CDI in China.

Source:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30845918?dopt=Abstract&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Ribotypes and Prevalence of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) Hypervirulent Strain: NAP1/B1/027

The Hypervirulent Strain of Clostridium Difficile: NAP1/B1/027

– A Brief Overview



Abstract

Clostridium difficile is a gram-positive bacterium notorious for causing epidemic diarrhea globally with a significant health burden. The pathogen is clinically challenging with increasing antibiotic resistance and recurrence rate. We provide here an in-depth review of one particular strain/ribotype 027, commonly known as NAP1/B1/027 or North American pulsed-field gel electrophoresis type 1, restriction endonuclease analysis type B1, polymerase chain reaction ribotype 027, which has shown a much higher recurrence rate than other strains.

Introduction & Background

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a gram-positive, anaerobic, motile, spore-forming, rod-shaped bacteria [1-2]. It has been isolated from almost all mammals, including pigs, cows, horses, elephants, and Kodiak bears, as well as in poultry and ostriches. It has also been found in the soil and feces of humans and animals. It is transmitted from person to person by the fecal-oral route. The C. diff isolates found in animals are similar to the ones found in humans, but according to Hensgens et al., this similarity does not mean that interspecies transmission occurs. However, immunocompromised people are still at risk for interspecies transmission [1]. Its pathogenicity is dependent on the two toxins that it produces: enterotoxin A (Toxin A or TcdA) and cytotoxin B (Toxin B or TcdB). Enterotoxin damages the actin in target cells which leads to neutrophil infiltration, inflammation, and necrosis of epithelial cells. Cytotoxin B has been shown to damage tight junctions of epithelial cells, which increases vascular permeability and causes hemorrhage [2-3]. These toxins form the basis of stool analysis when diagnosing people with the suspected infection. Despite all the virulence characters described, C. diff is a poor competitor against other gut flora in the human colon. In a healthy colon, this pathogen is not in sufficient quantity to produce a clinically significant disease. Risk factors that disrupt this balance include antibiotics exposure, health care environment, acid suppressants, and elemental diet. The bacterium can cause severe watery diarrhea that can progress to pseudomembranous colitis [3-8]. It has been named as one of the three microorganisms with an ‘urgent’ threat level by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based on its public health impact in the United States (US) with an estimated $1.5 billion US in annual health care expenditures [8]. Patients who have more than three episodes of unexplained and new onset unformed stools in 24 hours should be referred for testing for a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Also, patients with risk factors described previously should undergo testing for this pathogen [9]. The ribotype 027 strain of C. diff is particularly noteworthy as contradicting evidence in the literature is present regarding the disease severity it causes. We provide here a brief overview of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and treatment of this particular strain.

Review

Ribotypes and prevalence of Clostridium difficile (C. diff)

Clostridium difficile can be characterized according to its ribotyping which is performed using the polymerase chain reaction. Several different ribotypes have been associated with CDI. The ribotypes 001, 002, 014, 046, 078, 126, and 140 have been found to be prevalent in the Middle East [10-12]. In Asia, ribotypes 001, 002, 014, 017, and 018 are more prevalent [13-15]. The predominant strains in Europe and North America include ribotypes 001, 014, 020, 027, and 078 [6]. The ribotype 027 (also referred to as NAP1/B1/027) has emerged in the last decade. Studies have underlined antimicrobial resistance as one of the causes of its epidemic outbreaks. Capillary electrophoresis (CE) ribotyping is used as the standard for characterization of C. diff isolates. This method relies on the intergeneric region variability between 16S and 23S ribosomal deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) [16]. Ribotype 027 was found to have reduced susceptibility to metronidazole, rifampicin, moxifloxacin, clindamycin, imipenem, and chloramphenicol [17-18]. It is clinically and financially concerning as it leads to severe disease presentation, as well as antimicrobial resistance with high morbidity and mortality rates as compared to other strains [19]. Strains, such as ribotype 027 (especially its spores), spread more easily within the hospital because they can resist the hospital environment, cleaning, and disinfectants [1]. An observational study conducted on patients admitted with diarrhea in a Veteran Affairs Medical Center showed that around 22% of the patients were positive for the NAP1/B1/027 strain out of all the people who tested positive for CDI. Further, a reduction in the rate of diarrhea caused by the NAP1/B1/027 strain was observed with a prevalence of 16.9% in 2016, down from 26.2% in 2013. An increase in the level of awareness and education was thought to be the reason for this decline [20]. The prevalence of this strain in North America is reportedly around 22% – 36%. Ribotype 027 was identified as the most prevalent strain causing CDI with recent outbreaks in North America [20-22]. The prevalence of this strain was shown to be 48% in hospitals in Poland with an outbreak of CDI during September 2011 to August 2013 [21].

NAP1/B1/027 strain

Toxigenicity and Pathogenesis

The North American pulsed-field gel electrophoresis type 1, restriction endonuclease analysis type B1, polymerase chain reaction ribotype 027 (NAP1/B1/027) strain has been shown to contain a gene locus, CdtLoc, that encodes for CD196 ADP-ribosyltransferase (CDT) or binary toxin. The bacterium also produces Toxin A and Toxin B, similar to non-027 ribotypes, through the PaLoc gene locus [23-24]. CDT was first isolated by Popoff et al. [25]. The toxin comprises two separate toxin components: CDTa and CDTb. CDTa, which is an ADP-ribosyltransferase enzyme, modifies actin which results in depolymerization and destruction of the actin cytoskeleton in the gut. CDTb binds to gut cells and increases uptake of CDTa. The destruction caused by CDT favors adherence of bacteria and increased uptake of Toxin A and Toxin B [26].

In addition to the toxins, this strain (along with few others) carries a base pair frameshift deletion at nucleotide 117 of the TcdC gene, which is a negative regulator of Toxins A and B. A mutation in this gene thus causes hyperexpression of toxins by this particular strain. Warny et al. showed that NAP1/B1/027 produces Toxin A approximately 16 times and Toxin B approximately 23 times more than the control strains [27]. One study also proposed that increased sporulation by this strain may also be associated with the increased spread of CDI [28]. The virulent factors associated with NAP1/B1/027 strain have been summarized in Table 1.

Virulent factor Mechanism
1. Toxin A (Enterotoxin A or TcdA) Damages the actin in target cells which leads to neutrophil infiltration, inflammation, and necrosis of epithelial cells [24].
2. Toxin B (Cytotoxin B or TcdB) Damages tight junctions of epithelial cells, which increases vascular permeability and causes hemorrhage [24].
3. CDTa toxin Modification of actin with ADP-ribosylation that results in actin depolymerization and destruction of the cytoskeleton that assists in adherence of bacteria to gut epithelial cells [25-26].
4. CDTb toxin Facilitates uptake of CDTa toxin into the gut epithelial lining [25-26].
5. Hypersporulation Increases reproduction and spread of bacteria [28].
6. TcdC gene mutation (18-bp deletion) Increases the production of Toxin A and Toxin B by down-regulation of feedback inhibitor involved in suppressing toxin production [27].

Previous studies have shown contradicting evidence regarding the severity of disease caused by this particular strain. A recent retrospective analysis by Bauer et al. concluded that NAP1/B1/027 was associated with a decreased odds of severe disease (odds ratio (OR): 0.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.13 – 0.93) and did not increase in-hospital mortality (OR: 1.02, 95% CI 0.53 – 1.96) or recurrence rate (OR: 1.16, 95% CI 0.36 – 3.77) [23]. Several other studies conducted (including cross-sectional, case-control, and cohort studies) did not show any worse outcomes compared to other strains [29-31]. Sirad et al. demonstrated that although NAP1/B1/027 strain may produce more toxins compared to other strains, they produced fewer spores and were not always associated with severe disease [32]. On the contrary, Rao et al. conducted a cohort study and concluded that ribotype 027 was associated with severe CDI (OR: 1.73, 95% CI 1.03 – 2.89; p = 0.037) and increased mortality (OR: 2.02, 95% CI 1.19 – 3.43; p = 0.009) compared to other ribotypes [24]. Another study showed similar results with the North American pulsed-field gel electrophoresis type 1 (NAP1) strain. Multivariate regression analysis exhibited an increase in the severity of CDI with the NAP1 strain (OR: 1.66, 95% CI: 1.90 – 2.54) and increased mortality (OR: 2.12, 95% CI: 1.22 – 3.68) [33]. One study from Quebec labeled this strain to be responsible for severe diseases twice as frequently as compared to other strains [34].

The basis for these contradictory findings can be explained by several reasons, including study design, study population, sample size, the method of detection for C. diff, study setting, and unmeasured confounders. Given these contradictory results, healthcare providers should focus on treating this infection based on their clinical judgment and markers of severe infection, including the number of diarrheal episodes, signs of dehydration, creatinine level, albumin level, white blood cell count, associated co-morbidities, immunocompromised state, etc.

Prevention

Preventive strategies employed for NAP1/B1/027 strain are similar to strategies taken for other strains. These include barrier methods (gloves and gown while examining patient), use of disposable equipment, handwashing with soap and water, disinfecting the environment, and antimicrobial stewardship [35]. Further vaccines are being developed targeting the toxins, including TcdA and TcdB, for simultaneous prevention and treatment of CDI. Actoxumab and bezlotoxumab, which are monoclonal antibodies against TcdA and TcdB, are being investigated for this purpose. A combined Phase III trial (MODIFY I (NCT01241552) and MODIFY II (NCT01513239)) showed benefit from bezlotoxumab, but the combination of actoxumab and bezlotoxumab did not yield any further benefit [36]. Bezlotoxumab has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in October 2016 and is to be used in patients more than 18 years of age, who are at high risk of recurrence from CDI, and are receiving antibiotics [37]. A novel tetravalent vaccine against TcdA, TcdB, CDTa, and CDTb has been proposed by Secore et al. using a hamster model which has shown promising results [38].

A novel drug, SYN-004 (ribaxamase), is under investigation that has shown promising results for preventing CDI. This drug, which is a β-lactamase, is excreted into the gut and degrades the excess antibiotic that prevents disruption of normal gut flora, ultimately preventing CDI [39]. The Phase IIa clinical trial of this drug showed that ribaxamase at a dose of 150 mg every six hours results in an undetectable concentration of ceftriaxone in the intestine which can potentially decrease the likelihood of a C. diff infection, given the less probability of disruption of the gut bacteria.

Resistance to Antibiotics and Treatment

Cases of NAP1/B1/027 reported in Panama were found to be highly resistant to clindamycin, moxifloxacin, levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and rifampin but were susceptible to metronidazole and vancomycin [40]. Susceptibility of ribotype 027 and non-027 ribotypes to different antibiotics was tested in a study in Canada. Ribotype 027 showed a resistance of 92.2% to moxifloxacin compared to 11.2% for other strains. Similarly, 78.2% of ribotype 027 strains were resistant to ceftriaxone compared to 15.7% of other strains. Ribotype 027 demonstrated a greater than four-fold higher minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) to metronidazole (4 vs. 1 μg/ml) and two-fold higher MIC for fidaxomicin (1 vs. 2 μg/ml). For clindamycin and vancomycin, the resistance was similar in both groups [41].

Resistance to erythromycin is linked to mutations in the ribosomal methylase genes, whereas resistance to fluoroquinolones is due to a mutation in DNA gyrase. Resistance to rifamycin and fidaxomicin is attributed to ribonucleic acid (RNA) polymerase methylation. The presence of phenicol and lincosamide genes has been shown to cause resistance to linezolid. A study conducted in hospitals of Mexico showed some isolates of ribotype 027 to have reduced susceptibility to fidaxomicin despite the unavailability of this drug in Mexico and the patients being unexposed to it [42]. Antibiotics form the basis of treatment for the NAP1/B1/027 strain. Currently, no specific Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines are available to guide treatment for this particular strain, and hence, the treatment is similar to a non-NAP1/B1/027 strain [9]. Based on the current guidelines for treating CDI overall, we propose the following table for treating infection caused by the NAP1/B1/027 strain (Table 2).

First line treatment Alternative treatment
Initial non-severe infection Oral vancomycin, 125 mg four times daily for 10 days Fidaxomicin, 200 mg twice daily for 10 days; If neither is available, then use metronidazole, 500 mg three times daily for 10 days
First non-severe recurrence Repeat oral vancomycin, 125 mg four times daily for 10 days Fidaxomicin, 200 mg twice daily for 10 days
Second non-severe recurrence Oral vancomycin taper as follow: 125 mg four times daily for seven to 14 days, 125 mg twice daily for seven days, 125 mg twice once daily for seven days, 125 mg once every other day for seven days, 125 mg once every three days for 14 days Fidaxomicin, 200 mg orally twice daily for 10 days, or a fecal microbiota transplant
Subsequent non-severe recurrence Fecal microbiota transplant Tapering oral vancomycin with probiotics, IVIG, fidaxomicin
Severe disease Oral vancomycin, 125 mg four times daily, increase to 500 mg four times daily if no improvement noted in 24-48 hours or associated complications, including renal failure, ileus, etc. Fidaxomicin if the patient cannot tolerate oral vancomycin for any reason
Ileus Add IV metronidazole, 500 mg every eight hours, to oral vancomycin or fidaxomicin therapy; consider general surgery consult as needed Intracolonic vancomycin, IVIG

This strain has not shown any resistance to fidaxomicin, but there has been some contradicting evidence to this. A case report was published in 2017 in which the NAP1 C. diff infection, resistant to treatment with fidaxomicin and fecal transplants, was effectively treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) [43]. Given the emerging threat of antibiotic resistance, increasing awareness, controlling infections, and antimicrobial stewardship can be effective measures to reduce this threat [17].

Currently, several novel antibiotics are under investigation which have gone through various randomized controlled trials for CDI treatment. Ridinilazole and cadazolid have completed Phase II trials, while surotomycin has completed two Phase III trials which have shown promising results [44-47].

Conclusions

The data regarding the NAP1/B1/027 strain is inconclusive with ongoing debates whether this particular strain is associated with severe disease. Further research, including meta-analyses, are needed to solve this enigma. Clinicians should guide treatment based on their judgment and objective evidence of disease severity.


References

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