C. difficile poised to overtake MRSA as most common healthcare infection

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Move over, MRSA. Clostridium difficile is on its way to becoming the most common healthcare-associated infection in the country, a new report suggests.

In Southeastern states, rates of C. difficile infection have surpassed infection rates for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), researchers at Duke University found. Over 18 months, researchers studied 30 hospitals, all of which are part of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network. They discovered that C. difficile infections occurred 21% more often than MRSA, and just as often as bloodstream infections and combined device-related infections.

Although MRSA usually receives more attention, C. difficile is an important cause of healthcare-associated infections and deserves attention, according to healthcare officials. The report was presented at the Fifth Decennial International Conference on Healthcare-Associated Infections 2010 in Atlanta, GA.

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