Clostridium difficile infection in obstetrics and gynecology patients

Author(s): Bogdan I. Stefanescu, Georgiana Bianca Constantin

The incidence of nosocomial infections or, in other words, healthcare-associated infections, is bigger in developing countries. World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that as much as 15% of all hospitalized
patients will contract an infection related to medical procedures.

Nosocomial pathogens are represented by viruses, bacteria, fungal and parasites. The pathway of contamination is different and these could be represented by environmental sources, healthcare staff or other
infected patients.

Over the past decades, Clostridium difficile infection became more and more frequent in hospitalized patients. Unfortunately, not all the cases are reported and some of the patients are diagnosed with time after discharge, in other medical services.

Gynecologic surgery, as well as obstetric patients already, have numerous risk factors for infection. The addition of Clostridium difficile infection in these patients could be catastrophal. Thus, the reported rising incidence of Clostridium difficile infection in gynecological and obstetric patients should be alarming and unacceptable since the pathogen is transmitted from one infected patient to another through unproperly cleaned medical staff hands.

Although the main risk factor for Clostridium difficile infection is the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, the treatment is also antibiotic. Thus, the overuse of prophylactic antibiotherapy in patients undergoing
gynecologic surgery should not be recommended.s.