Clostridium difficile could be diagnosed quickly by looking at faeces from patients, because it differs from that of healthy people, say UK researchers.
A team from the Universities of the West of England and Bristol plan to use the finding to develop an electronic device capable of rapid diagnosis at the bedside by healthcare staff.
They found that the faeces of patients with ulcerative colitis, Campylobacter jejuni and Clostridium difficile all had significantly different chemical compositions.
Chris Probert, from Bristol University, said: 'Early treatment of Clostridium difficile means patients have a much better chance of survival and fewer complications. However, at present the average length of time taken to diagnose the condition is eight days.'