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Changes Needed to Improve the Diagnosis and Management of CDI in Europe

22 May, 13 | by kuppell

Urgent action is needed to improve the diagnosis and management of clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Europe according to a new report. CDI is the main cause of healthcare-associated diarrhoea in Europe and the CDI in Europe report hopes to help change the way CDI is managed across Europe at a policy level.

Written by a group of European infectious disease experts, with the support of Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd, the report points out that hospital patients with CDI are up to three times more likely to die in hospital (or within a month of infection) than those without CDI.  “CDI has an enormous impact on healthcare systems and infected patients can stay in hospital an extra 1-3 weeks at an additional cost of up to €14,000, compared with patients without CDI,” it adds.

 A number of reasons why CDI is not being well managed is identified by the report. In many countries there is an inadequate level of awareness of CDI among doctors and other healthcare workers, resulting in under-diagnosis. Where this happens treatment is delayed or omitted, leading to increased morbidity and complications in the treatment of co-existing diseases. Proactive infection control measures may also be delayed, risking further outbreaks. Additionally, only a third of European countries have a nationally recommended diagnostic test algorithm for CDI, with testing in nursing homes and the community being particularly limited.      

The report demonstrates how CDI threatens patient safety and the quality of care provided. It makes recommendations to improve CDI management, within the context of current EU policy initiatives, which call for increased awareness of the signs and symptoms of CDI to improve rates of testing and diagnosis as well as improved awareness of and compliance with guidelines for CDI therapy and infection control. The report also makes a case for the introduction of national-level surveillance systems in all Member States and increased patient education and awareness.

“It’s vital that governments see CDI management as a key indicator of patient safety and quality of care, and ensure that robust systems are in place to address it,” comments Professor Mark Wilcox, Professor of Medical Microbiology, University of Leeds and one of the CDI in Europe report authors. “CDI is a problem in hospitals and nursing homes and can be a major drain on healthcare resources. I believe implementation of the recommendations made in this Report will help improve the recognition of CDI and subsequently lead to a reduction in its incidence and impact on patients’ lives.”

A full copy of the report is available from


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