Clostridium difficile (CDI) is the leading cause of infectious nosocomial bacterial diarrhoea in industrialized countries. The incidence and severity of C. difficile infection is increasing in most countries and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This represents a large clinical burden and potential complications, including pseudomembranous colitis, toxic megacolon, colonic perforation and sepsis.
The European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) has highlighted recurrence as the most important issue in the management of CDI. Up to 25% of patients suffer a recurrence of infection within 30 days following treatment. This has patient, clinical, resourcing and health economic implications.