During these unprecedented times, we understand the patient’s frustration and how this pandemic has created a halt to the readily accessible alternative treatment option in the FMT community. The need for continued treatments for a C. diff. infection and recurrent C. diff. infections are real and necessary. We also understand how patients experiencing
recurrent C. difficile infections are desperately seeking the FMT alternative treatment.
C Diff Foundation is able to provide information about treatments available to safely treat CDI’s and recurrent C. diff. infections.
Most home remedies or natural therapies, though, haven’t been put through the same rigorous clinical testing you expect from pharmaceutical medications.
In a world where you can fix almost anything with a do-it-yourself video on YouTube, you might think curing your own illness would be a piece of cake. It might be if it weren’t for a couple of (not so small) sticking points. One, the home remedy recommended by your friend — or one of the many websites promoting “natural therapies” — might not work.1 Dr. Harriet Hall, a retired family physician, former Air Force flight surgeon, and author of the SkepDoc column in Skeptic magazine, is one of those leading the charge against medical “treatments” not supported by science. Like others in the medical and scientific community, ……. There is the only medicine that has been tested and proven to work, and medicine that hasn’t,” Hall told Healthline. 1
Responses to an anonymous online questionnaire of 496 parents, researchers at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York reported that 48 percent of the parents surveyed said they’ve held onto leftover antibiotics. More troubling to researchers was that of those parents, 73 percent reported giving those antibiotics to siblings, unrelated children, and unrelated adults. This would sometimes occur months after the drugs were originally prescribed. Dr. Ruth Milanaik, director of the neonatal neurodevelopment follow-up program at Cohen and senior author of the study, says the results show an “alarming” percentage of parents engaging in sharing or borrowing antibiotics, a practice known as prescription diversion. “This is dangerous not only for those given antibiotics that weren’t prescribed for them but for entire populations of people who some antibiotics may no longer help when the bacteria they target become resistant to them,” Milanaik said in a statement. 2
Discuss Resources available.
Times are trying during these unprecedented times and you are not without hope – we would like to help you and not see you get hurt or even worse. Please take time to speak to your treating physician and consider contacting a C Diff Foundation Triage Nurse at 727-205-3922 to learn more about safe and effective treatments available and options available to you at this time of desperation.
Remember – You Are Not Out of Options.
Stay safe – and please – Do NOT take medicine into your own hands.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Clostridium difficile infection (C. difficile) “has become the most common microbial cause of healthcare-associated infections in U.S. hospitals and costs up to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs for acute care facilities alone.”
Statistics provided by the CDC suggest that C. difficile cause nearly 500,000 infections in patients in the US annually.
In one study noted by the CDC, among infected patients, nearly 29,000 died within 30 days of being diagnosed, and more than half of those deaths (15,000) were directly attributable to C. difficile infection.
WithC. difficile infection prevention being declared a national priority by the CDC, researchers, public health officials, infectious disease specialists, and others continue to research more effective ways to combat this microbe. Below, we’ve collected links and information on several recent developments.
THE GOOD NEWS
The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) recently -hospital-stewardship-lowers-antibiotic-use-infections”>reported some good news about the effectiveness of antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) in reducing antibiotic usage, especially among patients in the intensive care unit.
Citing the results of a meta-analysis published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, the CIDRAP report noted that, following the implementation of an ASP, “hospital antimicrobial consumption across all studies declined by 19.1%, and antibiotic costs fell by 33.9%. Though a modest decrease of 12.1% in antimicrobial use occurred in general medical wards, antimicrobial use in ICUs fell by 39.5% across the four studies that looked at that parameter.”
The meta-analysis also found that ASPs were effective in curbing the use of non-antibiotic therapies. In the six studies that also monitored antifungal prescription rates, the authors reported a 39.1% decline after ASP initiation.
The use of third- and fourth generation antibiotics (such as cephalosporins, vancomycin, tigecycline, linezolid, imipenem, meropenem, and fluoroquinolones) declined by 26.6% in facilities that implemented an ASP.
The meta-analysis found that bacteria infection rates declined 4.5% in the studies that measured clinical outcomes, and length of hospital stay fell by nearly 9% in studies that measured that metric.
However, the CIDRAP report noted that ASP implementation was not “associated with declining risks for Clostridium difficile (C diff) infections.” The authors of the meta-analysis did note that, in three studies that evaluated C difficile rates, “significant publication bias favored studies that reported ASPs’ negative effects.”
“Fifteen years after the U.S. government declared antibiotic-resistant infections to be a grave threat to public health, a Reuters investigation has found that infection-related deaths are going uncounted, hindering the nation’s ability to fight a scourge that exacts a significant human and financial toll. Even when recorded, tens of thousands of deaths from drug-resistant infections – as well as many more infections that sicken but don’t kill people – go uncounted because federal and state agencies are doing a poor job of tracking them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the go-to national public health monitor, and state health departments lack the political, legal and financial wherewithal to impose rigorous surveillance.”
The report goes on to outline how incomplete, “patchwork” infection reporting requirements for hospitals, and lax requirements in many states regarding physicians’ responsibilities when filling out death certificates, have led to deaths caused by (or at the very least associated with) MRSA and other drug-resistant pathogens to be “grossly under-reported.”
For example, according to Reuters, only 17 states require notification of C. difficile infections. Only two of the so-called “superbug” infections (MRSA bacteremia and C. difficile) are required to be reported to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network surveillance program.
As they say, read the whole thing.
The authors of an article published in Clinical Microbiology and Infection reported on a study that compared treatment with tigecycline to standard therapy in adult patients with severe C. difficile infection (sCDI).
The retrospective cohort study compared outcomes in patients with sCDI who received tigecycline alone to outcomes in patients who received standard oral vancomycin combined with intravenous metronidazole.
The primary study outcome was clinical recovery (as determined by European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases guidelines); secondary outcomes were “in-hospital and 90-day all-cause mortality and relapse, colectomy and complication rates.”
A total of 90 patients with sCDI were treated (45 in each group). Patients treated with tigecycline monotherapy tended to do better in terms of cure rate, complicated disease, and CDI sepsis.
The authors reported that, compared to the group that received standard therapy, the tigecycline group had “significantly better outcomes of clinical cure (34/45, 75.6% vs. 24/45, 53.3%; p=0.02), less complicated disease course (13/45, 28.9% vs. 24/45, 53.3%; p=0.02) and less CDI sepsis (7/45, 15.6% vs. 18/45, 40.0%; p=0.009).”
Rates of mortality, disease relapse, and other measures were similar between the groups.
These results led the researchers to conclude that “tigecycline might be considered as a potential candidate for therapeutic usage in cases of sCDI refractory to standard treatment.”
Our good friends at Contagion Live recently reported on a study that has uncovered how the C. difficile bacteria produces toxins, which could aid the development of nonantibiotic drugs to fight C. difficile infection.
According to Contagion Live, C. difficile produces two toxins, toxin A and toxin B, that “cause life-threatening diarrhea as well as pseudomembranous colitis, toxic megacolon, perforations in the colon, sepsis and rarely death.”
Researchers at the University of Texas found that strains of C. difficile with a mutation in a particular Agr locus in their genome could not produce the toxins.
“Identifying a pathway responsible for activating the production of the toxins… opens up a unique therapeutic target for the development of a novel nonantibiotic therapy for C. difficile infections,” said the study authors.
The Contagion Live article includes a quote from author Charles Darkoh, PhD, on the potential implications of these findings.
“By crippling their toxin-making machinery, C. diff cannot make toxins and thus cannot cause disease. My laboratory is already working on this and was awarded a 5-year National Institutes of Health grant to investigate and develop an oral compound we have identified that inactivate the toxins and block the toxin-making machinery of C. diff by targeting this pathway,” he said.
To read article in its entirety click on the link below:
Community-onset CDI cases increased at a higher rate than hospital-acquired cases—accounting for almost half of the cases—in an examination of clinical data from 154 U.S. hospitals over eight years, according to research presented at the ASM Microbe 2016 (Poster 290)
Researchers from Merck and Becton Dickinson wanted to examine this trend, and looked at where CDI began by analyzing clinical data from 154 hospitals from 2008 to 2015.
>> Thank You Merck and Becton Dickinson For Conducting This Study <<
A CDI case was defined as a positive C. difficile toxin or molecular assay of a stool specimen obtained from a patient without a positive assay in the previous eight weeks.
First, they looked at the overall CDI rate in those facilities in that eight-year period and found 154,629 total CDI cases.
Then the teased out whether the case was acquired in the community or hospital. They also dived a little deeper to understand which community cases really were “community” that is there was no hospital stay within a certain time before the onset of disease, explained Andy DeRyke, PharmD, director scientific strategy lead at Merck, and one of the researchers.
They used these three definitions:
• Community-onset-community-associated: CDI occurred in an outpatient setting or within three calendar days after hospital admission and the patient had not had an overnight hospital stay in the prior 12 weeks before onset of infection;
• Community-onset-hospital-associated: CDI occurred in an outpatient setting or within three days after hospital admission, but the patient had spent at least one night in the hospital in the prior 12 weeks to the onset of infection; and
• Hospital-onset: CDI occurred after spending three days in the hospital.
Although not knew information—other studies as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported community-acquired infection—they were surprised by how many cases were community acquired.
From 2008 to 2015, the total number of CDI cases increased from 14,686 to 25,273 (72% increase, P<0.01).
Those that were Community-onset-community-associated rose from 6,586 to 13,975 (112%, P<0.01).
While the cases that probably stemmed from a hospital exposure also increased, the rate was much lower, according to Dr. DeRyke.
Those that were community-onset-hospital-associated rose from from 4,545 to 6,524 (44%, P<0.01); while hospital-onset rose from from 3,555 to 4,775 (34%, P<0.01).
The community-onset-community-associated cases accounted for half of overall cases and proportionately increased from 45% in 2008 to 55% in 2015 (P<0.01).
They also looked at cases geographically and found that the Midwest had the highest CDI rate in the country.
“The rates of C. diff are increasing over time,” he said. “Despite all these efforts to eliminate C. diff, it continues to increase.”
Ambulatory patients and caregivers will find the same problems that hospitals have in trying to rid the environment of C. difficile, he said. “The problem is, it’s everywhere,” he said and recommended that any person caring for a patient with CDI make sure that they wash their hands frequently and disinfect with bleach.