Tag Archives: What treats Cdiff?

Researchers From Loyola Medicine Retrospectively Studied 100 Vancomycin Taper and Pulse Treatment Patients Treated For Recurrent C. difficile Infection

A tapered and pulsed regimen with vancomycin — with diligent follow-up — can achieve significant cure rates in recurrent Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infected patients, according to a new study.

Researchers from Loyola Medicine retrospectively studied 100 vancomycin taper and pulse treatment patients treated for recurrent C. difficile infection between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2014. Their clinic, the study authors wrote, has been a referral center for the infection for the past decade.

To read the article in its entirety please click on the following link:


However, despite the guidelines for treatment of recurrent C. difficile infection being not too different than recurrent episodes – except for the use of vancomycin when the case is severe – there have not been many studies on this vancomycin taper and pulsed dosing. 

The researchers observed that after a referral, the confirmed recurrent C. difficile patients were treated with a vancomycin taper and pulse regimen: a taper of vancomycin to once-daily, followed by alternate day dosing; or once-daily followed by alternate day dosing; followed by every third day, for at least 2 weeks. After this regimen, all patients had 90-day follow-up documentation.

On average, the patients in the clinic were on their third C. difficile diarrhea episode. Half of the patients had also received a standard course of vancomycin, while another third had received some type of vancomycin taper regimen, the researchers said.

Despite the fact that many of these patients were a “treatment experienced” population, 75% of the patients who received a supervised vancomycin taper and pulsed regimen achieved a cure,  study author Stuart Johnson  MD, . He added that the results were further improved for patients who received the expended pulse phase: 81% achieved a cure.

“The findings were not unexpected to us, but I think that many clinicians will be surprised how well a deliberate, prolonged vancomycin taper and pulse regimen – with careful follow up – works,” Johnson said.

There were no significant differences among the patients in terms of gender, age, concomitant antibiotics, proton pump inhibitor use, histamine receptor-2 blocker use, or patients with a regimen greater than 10 weeks in length, the researchers continued.

The researchers added that their finding of improved cure rates with alternate-day dosing plus every third day dosing over strictly alternate-day dosing is consistent with the hypothesis that pulsed dosing can promote a cyclical decrease in spore burden, they wrote. This can also permit the resetting of normal microbiota in the gut.

Johnson concluded that the clinical implications of the study show most recurrent C. difficile patients do not need fecal microbiota transplant (FMT).

“FMT has received an enormous amount of press and this procedure is now widely available throughout the US,” Johnson said. “FMT is attractive because it addresses one of the primary mechanisms involved with recurrent C. difficile infection, a marked disruption of the resident bacteria that populate the intestine and provide an important host defense against C. difficile.

Although physicians screen donor feces for “known pathogens,” not all is known of the potential complications to come from FMT, Johnson said.

“In addition, it appears that efficacy with a carefully supervised vancomycin taper and pulse regimen compare to that achieved with FMT,” Johnson said.

The study, “Vancomycin Taper and Pulsed Regimen with careful Follow up for Patients with Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection,” was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Multiple Recurring Clostridium difficile infections (mrCDI) Data From 2001-2012 Study

Article from the Lancashire Post, July 4, 2017

To read the article in its entirety, please click on the following link:



mrCDI (multiple recurring C. difficile infections), they are the most difficult to treat and are rapidly becoming more common, say scientists.

* also referred to  as rCDI, recurring CDI

In the US between 2001 and 2012 the annual rate rose by almost 200 per cent more than four times the increase in ‘ordinary’ C. diff.

The bug, which can kill elderly patients, most commonly affects those who have recently been treated with antibiotics.

The precise reasons for the sharp rise in mrCDI’s incidence is so far unknown but adds strain to healthcare systems with an urgent need for new treatments.

FMT has shown good results in small studies in the war on C. diff but hasn’t yet been thoroughly evaluated.

Professor James Lewis, of Pennsylvania University, said: “The increasing incidence of C. difficile being treated with multiple courses of antibiotics signals rising demand for faecal microbiota transplantation in the United States.


“While we know faecal microbiota transplantation is generally safe and effective in the short term, we need to establish the long term safety of this procedure.”

C.diff is a bacterium that causes inflammation of the colon, a condition called colitis. Symptoms include diarrhoea, fever, loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal pain.

Recurrent C.diff, a bout within 90 days of the last, is a major problem with the risk of contracting it again at 50-60 per cent after three or more infections.


The bacteria are found in faeces, and people can become infected if they touch items or surfaces that are contaminated and then touch their mouths or mucous membranes.

Burden On Healthcare Systems

C. diff afflicts half a million Americans a year causing tens of thousands of deaths and costing the nation’s healthcare system an estimated $5 billion.

The study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine identified the alarming trend by analysing a nationwide health insurance database with the records of more than 40 million US patients.

Cases of C. diff were considered to have multiple recurrences when doctors treated them with at least three closely spaced courses of antibiotics.

According to the analysis, the incidence of C diff rose by about 43 percent over the study period, compared to 189 percent for mrCDI.

Older females more susceptible

The latter group were more likely to be older with an average age of 56, seven years more than the former’s 49 and were more likely to be female (64 per cent vs. 59 percent.

They were also more likely to have been exposed previously to medications such as corticosteroids, heartburn drugs known as PPIs (proton-pump inhibitors) and antibiotics.

The rapid rise in the incidence of mrCDI may be due in part to Americans’ increasing use of such drugs. But Prof Lewis said other causes are also likely.

He said: “An additional driver of this rise in incidence could be the recent emergence of new strains of C. difficile, such as NAP1, which has been shown to be a risk factor for recurrent CDI.”

C.diff is notorious for spreading among vulnerable patients within hospitals and can lead to fatal blood infections (sepsis) – especially among the elderly.

The antibiotics metronidazole, vancomycin, and fidoxamicin are commonly used to treat CDI……….

Long used in veterinary medicine, FMT is an alternative to antibiotics and involves infusions of foecal matter from healthy intestines.

The aim is to help restore a normal gut bacteria population in the patient and thereby discourage C. diff growth.

But Prof Lewis said despite such promising results more needs to be known about FMT’s long-term safety – and the fast-rising incidence of mrCDI underscores this need.

The American Gastroenterological Association recently set up a formal registry for doctors to report their results with FMT procedures.

Prof Lewis said: “It’s a way in which practitioners who are performing faecal microbiota transplantation can contribute data to help answer these critical questions.”

A small study in 2013 found a single FMT infusion cleared up diarrhoea in 81 percent of the recurrent-CDI patients who received it. On the other hand the standard antibiotic vancomycin worked for just 31 percent.