Clostridium difficile infection in the elderlyStefano Di Bella, Alessandro Capone, Maria Musso, Maddalena Giannella, Agapito Tarasi, Emma Johnson, Fabrizio Taglietti, Caterina Campoli, Nicola PetrosilloNational Institute for Infectious Diseases L. Spallanzani, Rome, Italy; Nosocomial Infections Clinic, San Giovanni Addolorata Hospital, Rome, Italy; Department of Microbiology, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UKPage 93-102 - Vol. 21 N. 2 - 2013 The incidence of C. difficile infections (CDI) in the elderly continues to rise and infection is associated with increased morbidity and mortality when compared to those affected in younger age-groups. Immunosenescence may be a contributory factor yet the exact immune responses that may protect against CDI are incompletely understood. Increased exposure to antibiotics, frequent and/or prolonged hospital admissions and residing in long-term care facilities provide multiple opportunities for host and pathogen to coincide. This review explores the epidemiology, diagnostic parameters and management of the spectrum of disease in the geriatric population. Deaths attributed to CDI are most common in the elderly population and are a major contributor to gastroenteritis-associated mortality in many countries. The elderly represent an “at-risk” population from this pathogen and efforts must be directed to preventing infection and optimising treatment in this group.
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