Thursday, September 18, 2008

A New Superbug?

Clostridium difficile is an intestinal bacterium discovered in the 1970s. It infects approximately a half million people a year in the United States, but has begun to reach epidemic proportions in 38 states some states. C-diff, as it is known, may be the next superbug and rival the likes of MRSA. Canadian and European hospitals have been struggling with these infections and American hospitals appear to be next.

The problem with C-diff? Antibiotics kill the growing bacteria but not the spores. Once the antibiotic treatment is ended the spores grow and the infection flares up again. The bacteria has been growing more and more resistant to antibiotics, and the bacteria is resistant to cleaning chemicals and alcohol, making it a tough infection to treat.

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