The prevalence of Toxigenic Clostridium Difficile in hospitalized patients with diarrheal disease by comparing two laboratory diagnostic modalities.

Nireshan Seeralan Naidoo, Prof Y Coovadia


Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI) is an emerging clinical problem in developing countries. It occurs predominantly in hospitalized patients and particularly after the administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics.  There is very little literature demonstrating the prevalence of Toxigenic C. diff in hospitalised patients in South Africa and particularly KZN. Molecular biological methods such as PCR are gaining more importance in comparison to the “gold standard” cytotoxicity assay. This prospective laboratory study proposes to look at the prevalence of Toxigenic C. diff at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital while employing a newer molecular PCR diagnostic test.  The study will help to determine which diagnostic testing for Toxigenic C. diff is most specific and sensitive as well as appropriate for this laboratory setting.