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Clostridium difficile and C. difficile Toxin Testing

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Also known as: C. difficile; C. diff; C diff antigen; GDH
Formal name: Clostridium difficile Culture; C. difficile Toxin, A and B; C. difficile Cytotoxin Assay; Glutamate Dehydrogenase Test
Related tests: Stool Culture; O&P

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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.

Sources Used in Current Review

Fisher, M. and Schlaberg, R. (Reviewed 2014 September). Clostridium difficile. ARUP Consult [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.arupconsult.com/Topics/Clostridiumdifficile.html?client_ID=LTD through http://www.arupconsult.com. Accessed October 2014.

Bartlett, J. (2013 August 26). 5 Important Developments in C difficile Management. Medscape Multispecialty [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/809238 through http://www.medscape.com. Accessed October 2014.

Aberra, F. and Curry, J. (Updated 2014 March 17). Clostridium Difficile Colitis. Medscape Drugs & Diseases [On-line information]. Available online at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/186458-overview through http://emedicine.medscape.com. Accessed October 2014.

Lehrer, J. (Updated 2014 May 15). Pseudomembranous colitis. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000259.htm through http://www.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed October 2014.

Vorvick, L. (Updated 2012 April 30). Stool C. difficile toxin. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003590.htm through http://www.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed October 2014.

Dowshen, S. (Reviewed 2011 September). Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin. KidsHealth from Nemours [On-line information]. Available online at http://kidshealth.org/parent/system/medical/test_difficile.html through http://kidshealth.org. Accessed October 2014.

Cohen, S. et. al (2010 May). SHEA‐IDSA Guideline: Clinical Practice Guidelines for Clostridium difficile Infection in Adults: 2010 Update by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, v 31 (5) pp. 431-455. [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/651706 through http://www.jstor.org. Accessed October 2014.

Sources Used in Previous Reviews
Thomas, Clayton L., Editor (1997). Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, PA [18th Edition].

Pagana, Kathleen D. & Pagana, Timothy J. (2001). Mosby's Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference 5th Edition: Mosby, Inc., Saint Louis, MO.

Hamm, L (2000 June 01) Clostridium difficile. Medscape Today [On-line article from Pediatric Pharmacotherapy]. Available online at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/410904 through http://www.medscape.com.

Yousuf, K., et. al.(2002 August 16). Clostridium Difficile-Associated Diarrhea and Chronic Renal Insufficiency. Medscape Today [On-line article from South Med J 95(7):681-683, 2002]. Available online at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/439429 through http://www.medscape.com.

Kovacs, D., et. al. (2000). Recurrent Clostridium difficile-Associated Diarrhea and Colitis Treated With Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker's Yeast) in Combination With Antibiotic Therapy: A Case Report. Medscape Today [On-line article from J Am Board Fam Pract 13(2):138-140, 2000]. Available online at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/405773 through http://www.medscape.com.

Carroll, D. (2004 February 23). Moxifloxacin-Induced Clostridium difficile-Associated Diarrhea. Medscape Today [On-line article from Pharmacotherapy 23(11):1517-1519, 2003]. Available online at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/464637 through http://www.medscape.com.

Connor, B. and Landzberg, B. (2003 June 17). Travel Medicine, Persistent Traveler's Diarrhea. Medscape Today [Online article from Infect Med 20(5):242-244, 247, 2003]. Available online at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/455532 through http://www.medscape.com.

Fedorak, R. and Madsen, K. (2004 April 9). Probiotics and Prebiotics in Gastrointestinal Disorders. Medscape Today [On-line article from Curr Opin Gastroenterol 20(2):146-155, 2004]. Available online at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/470571 through http://www.medscape.com.

Roth, A. and Basello, G. (2003 December 1). Approach to the Adult Patient with Fever of Unknown Origin. American Family Physician [On-line journal]. Available online at http://www.aafp.org/afp/20031201/2223.html through http://www.aafp.org.

Clostridium difficile Toxins and Culture. ARUP's Guide to Clinical Laboratory Testing [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.aruplab.com/guides/clt/tests/clt_a153.jsp#1059796 through http://www.aruplab.com.

McCusker, M., et. al. (2004 January 5). Fluoroquinolone Use and Clostridium difficile–associated Diarrhea. CDC, Emerging Infectious Diseases [On-line article]. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol9no6/02-0385.htm through http://www.cdc.gov.

Muir, A. (2002 May 5, Updated). Pseudomembranous colitis. MedlinePLUS Health Information, Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/print/ency/article/000259.htm.

Stone, C. (2003 November 4). Stool C. difficile toxin. MedlinePlus Health Information, Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003590.htm.

The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, Section 3. Gastrointestinal Disorders, Chapter 29. Antibiotic-Associated Colitis [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmanual/section3/chapter29/29a.jsp through http://www.merck.com.

Antibiotic-Associated Colitis. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, Section 9. Digestive Disorders, Chapter 127. Antibiotic-Associated Colitis, Topic: Antibiotic-Associated Colitis [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmanual_home2/sec09/ch127/ch127a.jsp through http://www.merck.com.

Microorganisms That Cause Gastroenteritis [Table]. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy Section 9. Digestive Disorders, Chapter 122. Gastroenteritis [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmanual_home2/tb/tb122_1.jsp through http://www.merck.com.

Forbes BA, Sahm DF, Weissfeld AS, eds., Bailey and Scott's Diagnostic Microbiology, 12th edition, St. Louis, MO (2007).

Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 21st ed. McPherson R, Pincus M, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier: 2007.

Lehrer JK (2007 August 7 Updated). Stool C. difficile toxin. MedlinePlus Health Information, Medical Encyclopedia (On-line information, accessed November 2007). Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003590.htm.

(June 5, 2007) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Clostridium difficile Infections: Overview (online information, accessed November 2007). Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/id_Cdiff.html through http://www.cdc.gov.

Sunenshine R, McDonald LC. Clostridium difficile-associated disease: New challenges from an established pathogen. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine (2006) 73:187-197. (Accessed online November 2007). PDF available for download at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/pdf/infDis/Cdiff_CCJM02_06.pdf through http://www.cdc.gov.

Grossman K. About.com Health information: Toxic megacolon (online information, accessed December 2007). Available online at http://ibdcrohns.about.com/od/ulcerativecolitis/a/toxicmegacolon.htm through http://ibdcrohns.about.com.

Vorvick, L (Updated 2010 April 12). Stool C. difficile toxin. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003590.htm. Accessed May 2011.

(Updated 2011 January 25). Information about the Current Strain of Clostridium difficile. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/organisms/cdiff/Cdiff-current-strain.html through http://www.cdc.gov. Accessed May 2011.

(Reviewed 2010 November 25). Frequently Asked Questions about Clostridium difficile for Healthcare Providers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/organisms/cdiff/Cdiff_faqs_HCP.html through http://www.cdc.gov. Accessed May 2011.

Mayo Clinic Staff (2010 November 3). C. difficile. MayoClinic.com [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/c-difficile/DS00736/METHOD=print&DSECTION=all through http://www.mayoclinic.com. Accessed May 2011.

Fisher, M and She, R. (Updated 2010 November). Clostridium difficile. ARUP Consult [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.arupconsult.com/Topics/Clostridiumdifficile.html?client_ID=LTD through http://www.arupconsult.com. Accessed May 2011.

Pagana, K. D. & Pagana, T. J. (© 2011). Mosby's Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference 10th Edition: Mosby, Inc., Saint Louis, MO. Pp 270-271.

Stuart H. Cohen et al. Clinical Practice Guidelines for Clostridium difficile Infection in Adults: 2010 Update by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. Available online at http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/651706 through http://www.journals.uchicago.edu. Published online March 22, 2010. Accessed April 20, 2010.

Forbes, B. et. al. (© 2007). Bailey & Scott's Diagnostic Microbiology, 12th Edition: Mosby Elsevier Press, St. Louis, MO. Pp 463, 889.

(March 8, 2011) Aberra F, et al. Clostridium difficile Colitis. eMedicine article. Available online at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/186458-diagnosis through http://emedicine.medscape.com. Accessed May 2011.