The epidemiology of Clostridium difficile in Scotland.J Infect. 2011 Apr; 62(4):271-9.JI
The objective of this study was to characterise the epidemiology of Clostridium difficile in Scotland by determining the distribution of PCR ribotypes and antimicrobial susceptibility in 1613 isolates collected from all healthboard areas of Scotland in the period November 2007-December 2009. Three PCR ribotypes predominated amongst the Scottish isolates of C. difficile; ribotype 106 (29.4%), ribotype 001 (22%) and ribotype 027 (12.6%) followed by the less prevalent ribotypes including 002, 015, 014, 078, 005, 023 and 020. The distribution of ribotypes varied between healthboard areas. Ribotype 106 or 001 was the predominant ribotype in 10 healthboard areas, while ribotype 027 was the predominant type in two neighbouring areas. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of C. difficile isolates showed high frequencies of resistance to moxifloxacin, levofloxacin, erythromycin and cefotaxime in the epidemic C. difficile ribotypes 001, 027 and 106 compared to other less common ribotypes. Furthermore, reduced susceptibility to metronidazole was found only in the epidemic strains. These findings are compatible with the hypothesis that fluoroquinolones, macrolides and cephalosporins may play a role in the spread of C. difficile in Scotland (while the role of metronidazole needs further investigations), and highlights the role of antimicrobial stewardship in preventing and controlling C. difficile infection (CDI).