Clinical and microbiological characteristics of Clostridium difficile infection in children hospitalized at the Departement of Paediatric Infectious Diseases in Brno between 2013 and 2017

Authors: V. Musil 1;  L. Homola 1;  M. Vrba 2;  A. Braunová 1;  M. Malá 1;  P. Holečková 1;  L. Krbková 1
Authors‘ workplace: Klinika dětských infekčních nemocí Fakultní nemocnice, Brno a Lékařské fakulty Masarykovy univerzity, Brno 1;  Oddělení klinické mikrobiologie Fakultní nemocnice, Brno 2
Published in: Epidemiol. Mikrobiol. Imunol. 68, 2019, č. 1, s. 15-22
Category: Original Papers



Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) plays a minor but important role in paediatrics. The aims of this study were to objectivise data, to show their significance in clinical practice, and to present our experience with the treatment of paediatric patients.

Materials and methods:

A retrospective study was conducted in patients (0–19 years of age) hospitalized for Clostridium
difficile infection (CDI) in the Department of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, University Hospital in Brno between 2013 and 2017. Each patient was tested using a two-step diagnostic screening algorithm including immunochromatography and polymerase chain reaction assays.


Thirty-five patients with a median age of 10.3 years (range 1–17.5 years) were enrolled in the study. Almost 70% of patients were aged between 6 and 19 years. No risk factor was identified in one patient, 41.6% of cases were patients with malignancy or inflammatory bowel disease, and 2.5% of patients had short bowel syndrome. After targeted CDI treatment, the median time to resolution of diarrhoea was 2.5 days. Metronidazole was used in more than half of cases. Five patients received fidaxomicin, which was well tolerated. Metronidazole failed in three cases. Recurrence after incomplete treatment with metronidazole occurred in one patient. Health care-associated CDI was recorded in 86% of cases. Recurrent CDI was reported in four children (two with malignancy, one with inflammatory bowel dissease, and one with short bowel syndrome).


The course of CDI is generally mild in the paediatric population. CDI without a risk factor is rare. Paediatric patients respond well to metronidazole. Fidaxomicin was well tolerated by all patients. We prefer the treatment with fidaxomicin in high-risk groups (immunocompromised condition, inflammatory bowel disease, and short bowel syndrome).


fidaxomicin – body mass index – Clostridium difficile – Clostridium colitis – diarrhoea


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