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Guidelines for optimal surveillance of Clostridium difficile infection in hospitals

Author(s)JS Brazier; BI Duerden
AbstractThe availability of surveillance data on C.difficile infection in hospitals in England and Wales is being jeopardised by the trend not to culture the organism for diagnostic purposes. NHS trust laboratories that no longer have the ability to isolate C. difficile can not investigate putative outbreaks or monitor antimicrobial susceptibilities. These laboratories may now need to rely on their local public health laboratory for such investigations. Recent recommendations from the DH/PHLS have highlighted the need for culture in outbreak investigations for surveillance purposes and for monitoring animicrobial susceptibilities. It is important, therefore, that NHS diagnostic laboratories and public health laboratories, in particular, retain the ability to isolate C.difficile. A cost-effective approach is described that will facilitate surveillance by typing of strains and also enable their antimicrobial susceptibilities to be monitored.
Date of publishing12/01/98
Date of last review by us11/01/2005
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