Clostridium difficile infection: still principally a disease of the elderly

Author(s): Naomi G Diggs and Christina M Surawicz

Despite recent concerns of Clostridium difficile infection in previously low-risk individuals, it remains a disease that disproportionately affects the elderly. Besides advancing age, persons older than 65 years have more risk factors for C. difficile infection, poorer responses to treatment, more frequent recurrences, and higher morbidity and mortality. With a rapidly aging population, the need for better diagnostic tests and therapies is crucial. Moreover, the severe consequences of infection in the elderly make prevention as important as treatment.