[Changing epidemiology of infections in the Netherlands in 2008/'09].Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2010; 154:A1317.NT
To describe the epidemiological characteristics of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in the Netherlands.
After the first outbreaks in 2005 of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) due to the hypervirulent PCR ribotype 027, a national reference laboratory was started in the Leiden University Medical Centre for typing and characterisation of C. difficile. Data were obtained from this national reference laboratory and from a continuous surveillance in 14 Dutch hospitals. The study period was January 2008-June 2009.
In 2008, the incidence of CDI was 18 per 10.000 admissions (range: 14-23) in the 14 participating hospitals in the national surveillance study. In the study period, a total of 1867 cases of CDI were reported from 63 centres. The number of CDI outbreaks caused by type 027 decreased in the period January 2008 to June 2009, compared to the preceding years: type 027 was the cause of outbreaks in 4 Dutch hospitals in 2008-2009, whereas all 14 hospitals experienced an outbreak due to this type in the period 2005-2007. Although no systemic surveillance has been carried out in nursing homes, 24 Dutch nursing homes reported outbreaks of C. difficile in the period 2005-2009, in 12 of which type 027 was isolated. There was an increase of CDI detected in patients with diarrhoea outside health care facilities which appeared to coincide with the emergence of other types. In particular, type 078 increased since the end of 2006 and became the third most frequent type in the Netherlands. This type has also been recognised since 2007 as an important cause of CDI infection in animals, especially pigs. Recently there have also been reports that at least a third of the patients with CDI outside health care institutions do not have known risk factors for CDI such as an underlying disease, recent hospitalization or antibiotic use.
CDI can also develop in the community The general practitioner should consider C. difficile in the differential diagnosis of elderly patients with diarrhoea.