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Molecular epidemiology of clostridioides difficile infections in children

Perumalsamy, S. and Riley, T.V. (2021) Molecular epidemiology of clostridioides difficile infections in children. Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, 10 (Supp.3). S34-S40.

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Clostridioides difficile is a prominent cause of health care-related gastrointestinal illness in adults. C. difficile infection (CDI) has been researched for over 40 years; however, research on pediatric CDI specifically has lagged behind for various reasons. Over the past decade, C. difficile has been increasingly reported as a cause of a broad spectrum of gastrointestinal diseases in children, ranging from mild self-limiting diarrhea to severe conditions such as pseudomembranous colitis and toxic megacolon. Recent publications have shown a rise in CDI incidence in children in different parts of the world, especially in patients with particular comorbidities such as hematological malignancies and inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, rising CDI rates have been reported in children in the community without traditional risk factors for CDI. Due to the extensive use of sensitive molecular detection methods to diagnose CDI in many countries, differentiating children who require treatment from those colonized with toxigenic strains remains a problem. Consequently, the molecular epidemiology of pediatric CDI is poorly understood. Even though well-known C. difficile strains causing CDI in children have been described (including hypervirulent strains such as ribotypes 027 and 078), there is a paucity of information about specific C. difficile strains. This mini-review summarizes the information that is currently available on the molecular epidemiology of CDI in children.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Oxford University Press on behalf of The Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
Copyright: © 2021 Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
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