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New therapy for C-difficile treatment

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New guidance has been issued for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in adults.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) and Public Health England recommended fidaxomicin, an antibiotic for treatment of CDI in patients with severe cases of the infection where there is a high risk of recurrence. It is also recommended for elderly patients with multiple comorbidities who are receiving concomitant antibiotics, and for recurrent CDI.

Trials showed fidaxomicin to be just as effective and safe as the currency therapy, vancomycin. However fidaxomicin more than halved the rate of recurrence in patients with CDI compared to vancomycin..

Statistics show that under the current treatment, 25% of patients suffered recurrence of CDI within 30 days of initial treatment. Recurrence is considered to be the largest problem when trying to treat CDI.

Dr Simon Goldenberg, consultant microbiologist & infection control doctor, said: “With recurrent infection affecting around a quarter of all patients with CDI, the recommendation to consider fidaxomicin as an option for individuals with severe infection and considered at high risk for recurrence is a huge step forward in being able to improve the overall management of CDI.

“This new guidance is very welcome as there is greater pressure than ever before to adequately treat individuals with CDI and bring down rates of infection. I hope that this guidance will go some way to helping NHS trusts reach their targets and reduce the number of patients infected with CDI.”

The NHS has made reducing CDI rates as a priority in 2013-14, with a 30% reduction target for the average acute trust and penalties for those not meeting the objectives.

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