Prevention / Treatment

Why is prevention needed?

  • Patients infected with C.diff release spores into environment which can survive long-term on contaminated surfaces and subsequently infect other people.
  • These spores are very resilient: they can survive decontamination procedures and remain viable for months.
  • Transmission of C.diff is difficult to control once it is present in a given environment.
  • Once ingested spores germinate to release the active bacterium– resulting in symptomatic C.diff disease.
  • Proliferation of C.diff happens most commonly in people who have undergone antibiotic treatment.


  • At this time, there are no licensed vaccines available that can prevent
    C. difficile infection.
  • C. difficile infection can be controlled sometimes simply by stopping the antibiotic that was responsible for bringing it on.
  • If further treatment is needed, other antibiotics (specifically, metronidazole, vancomycin, or fidaxomicin) may be given.
  • However, even when the symptoms clear up, about 1 out of 5 people who have had C. difficile infection will become ill with it again at some later time; and of those people who have at least 2 other episodes, about two-thirds will continue to have even more.
  • Other treatments like oral administration of non toxigenic C. difficile and fecal microbiota transplantation are available.
Even if mild cases can be treated by antibiotics,
up to 25% of patients
see a return of the disease.