|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 78-79
Clostridioides difficile Infection in Patients with COVID-19
Department of Gastroenterology, Arihant Hospital and Research Centre, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
|Date of Submission||16-Dec-2021|
|Date of Decision||10-Feb-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||12-Feb-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||23-Mar-2022|
Arihant Hospital and Research Centre, 283-A Gumasta Nagar, Indore - 452 009, Madhya Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Jain M. Clostridioides difficile Infection in Patients with COVID-19. Gastroenterol Hepatol Endosc Pract 2022;2:78-9
Frail individuals with long-standing medical diseases are vulnerable to coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) infection. Many of these patients require hospitalization, and the risk of bacterial or fungal infections in such patients is considerable., The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in these patients may be associated with subsequent increase in Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). C. difficile is a multi-resistant pathogen and is the leading cause of diarrhea in health-care settings.
Over the period of the last 4 months (January 2021–April 2021), the author encountered eight cases of CDI in patients who underwent treatment for COVID-19. In the previous 2 years (2019–2020), only one case of documented CDI was noted at our center. As noted from [Table 1], all patients were above 45 years of age and predominantly females. All patients had one or more comorbid states. All patients had severe COVID-19 infection and required prolonged hospital stay. Broad-spectrum antimicrobials, steroids, proton-pump inhibitors, and remdesivir were used in these patients. Six patients presented within 1 month of discharge from COVID care facility, while two were diagnosed during hospital stay. The symptoms of CDI included profuse diarrhea (8%–100%), abdominal distention (2%–25%), anorexia (2%–25%), and nausea (2%–25%). Diagnosis was confirmed by stool test for C. difficile toxin assay in all cases and sigmoidoscopy showing pseudomembranes in six cases. One case had toxic megacolon and another case was on ventilation with inotropic support. All patients were started on antibiotics – metronidazole and vancomycin. Six cases who presented post discharge improved with treatment and were doing well on follow-up at 1 month. Two cases – one with toxic megacolon and the other with multi-organ failure – succumbed to their illness.
The present data show that there is a likelihood of increase in CDI, especially among frail elderly patients during the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is of paramount importance to screen all COVID-19 convalescents, particularly those that had gastrointestinal manifestations, for CDI. Two studies from the United States have highlighted the association between CDI and COVID-19., Moreover, a case report has highlighted that combination of these two can lead to development of vascular complications like portal vein thrombosis. Antibiotic stewardship and proper hygiene practices are of paramount importance to reduce the risk of CDI.
To conclude, it is highly likely that cases of CDI are being underdiagnosed and under-reported among COVID-19 patients. It is important to create an increased awareness regarding this issue and implement effective measures at local level to control this infection.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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