An evaluation of toxigenic Clostridioides difficile positivity as a patient outcome metric of antimicrobial stewardship in Saudi Arabia

Christopher Okeahialam, Ali Rabaan, Albert Bolhuis

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Abstract

Background: Antimicrobial stewardship has been associated with a reduction in the incidence of healthcare-associated Clostridium difficile infection (HA-CDI). However, CDI remains under-recognised in many low and middle-income countries where clinical and surveillance resources required to identify HA-CDI are often lacking. The rate of toxigenic C. difficile stool positivity in the stool of hospitalised patients may offer an alternative metric for these settings, but its utility remains largely untested. Aim/objective: To examine the impact of antimicrobial stewardship on the rate of toxigenic C. difficile positivity among hospitalised patients presenting with diarrhea Methods: A 12-year retrospective review of laboratory data was conducted to compare the rates of toxigenic C. difficile in diarrhoea stool of patients in a hospital in Saudi Arabia, before and after implementation of an antimicrobial stewardship programme. Result: There was a significant decline in the rate of toxigenic C. difficile positivity from 9.8 to 7.4% following the implementation of the antimicrobial stewardship programme, and a reversal of a rising trend. Discussion: The rate of toxigenic C. difficile positivity may be a useful patient outcome metric for evaluating the long-term impact of antimicrobial stewardship on CDI, especially in settings with limited surveillance resources. The accuracy of this metric is, however, dependent on the avoidance of arbitrary repeated testing of a patient for cure, and testing only unformed or diarrhoea stool specimens. Further studies are required within and beyond Saudi Arabia to examine the utility of this metric.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-236
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infection Prevention
Volume22
Issue number5
Early online date22 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Clostridium difficile
  • Healthcare-associated infections
  • nosocomial infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing
  • Infectious Diseases

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