FAQ for Health, Safety & Risk
- What is Clostridium difficile or C. difficile or Clostridium Difficile Associated Disease (CDAD), or Clostridium difficile infections (CDI)
- What is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- What is Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE)
1. What is Clostridium difficile or C. difficile or Clostridium Difficile Associated Disease (CDAD), or Clostridium difficile infections (CDI)
- C. difficile is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis.
- It is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitalized patients in the industrialized world.
- The use of antibiotics increases the chances of developing C. difficile diarrhea as it alters the normal level of good bacteria found in the intestines and colon.
- Good hygiene is the single-most effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like C. difficile.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of bacteria that is resistant to certain or all types of the beta-lactam classes of antibiotics such as penicillins, penicillinase-resistant penicillins (e.g. cloxacillin) and cephalosporins. MRSA are strains of S. aureus that have an MIC to oxacillin of = 4 mcg/ml. or contain the mecA gene coding for penicillin binding protein 2a (PBP 2a).
Enterococci are bacteria that are normally present in the human intestines and in the female genital tract and are often found in the environment. These bacteria can sometimes cause infections. Vancomycin is an antibiotic that is often used to treat infections caused by enterococci. In some instances, enterococci have become resistant to this drug and thus are called vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). VRE have a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) to vancomycin of ≥ 32 mcg/ml. They contain the resistance genes VAN-A or VAN-B.