High rate of Clostridium difficile among young adults presenting with diarrhea at two hospitals in Kenya.
MetadataShow full item record
BACKGROUND: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea worldwide. As a result, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have designated C. difficile as an urgent threat. Despite the global public health risk posed by CDI, little is known about its epidemiology on the African continent. This article describes the common occurrence of CDI from a cross-section of consecutively seen, randomly enrolled patients presenting with diarrhea at two major hospitals in Kenya. METHODS: Patients presenting with diarrhea at two major hospitals in Kenya from May to July 2017 were enrolled. After signing the informed consent, stool samples, demographic data, medical history, prior antibiotic use, and HIV status were obtained from the patients. C. difficile was detected and validated by toxigenic culture and PCR. RESULTS: The average age of the patients was 35.5 years (range 3-86 years); 59% were male and 41% were female. Out of 105 patient stools tested, 98 (93.3%) were positive for C. difficile by culture. PCR analysis confirmed C. difficile-specific genes, tcdA, tcdB, and tcdC, in the strains isolated from the stools. Further, 82.5% of the stools had C. difficile isolates bearing the frame-shift deletion associated with hypervirulent strains. Remarkably, 91.9% of the stools that tested positive for C. difficile came from patients under 60 years old, with 64.3% being less than 40 years of age. The majority of the patients (85%) reported over-the-counter antibiotic use in the last 30days before the hospital visit. CONCLUSIONS: Together, the results revealed an unusually high incidence of C. difficile in the stools analyzed, especially among young adults who are thought to be less vulnerable. Comprehensive research is urgently needed to examine the epidemiology, risk factors, pathogenesis, comorbidities, clinical outcomes, antibiotic susceptibility, and genetic makeup of C. difficile strains circulating on the African continent.
The following license files are associated with this item: