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Clostridium difficile toxin in acute diarrhoea complicating inflammatory bowel disease.
  1. M R Keighley,
  2. D Youngs,
  3. M Johnson,
  4. R N Allan,
  5. D W Burdon


    The incidence of Clostridium difficile cytotoxin has been studied in 69 consecutive patients with inflammatory bowel disease complicated by severe diarrhoea or ileostomy flux during 74 admissions to hospital. The cytotoxin was identified in only four patients, all of whom had received antimicrobials. Clostridium difficle, but not cytotoxin, was identified in 10 of 43 admissions. This followed antimicrobial prophylaxis to cover a recent operation in two patients, and five were on long-term sulphasalazine. Only three patients with Clostridium difficile had not received an antimicrobial within one month of the study. Isolation of Clostridium difficile alone is of doubtful pathological significance, as it spontaneously disappeared without treatment in all patients.

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