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March 1983

Clostridium difficile Cytotoxin in a Pediatric Population

Author Affiliations

From the Sections of Infectious Diseases (Drs Thompson, Fisher, and Long) and Laboratories (Dr Gilligan), St Christopher's Hospital for Children, and the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Thompson, Gilligan, Fisher, and Long) and Microbiology (Dr Long), Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(3):271-274. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140290057015

• Assays for cytotoxin of Clostridium difficile were performed on stool samples submitted to the laboratory for routine microbiologic study. Cytotoxin was recovered from 8.6% of 208 pediatric patients studied. Cytotoxin was identified significantly more often in younger patients (median age, 11 months) and in those with hospital-associated illness (17%) and antibiotic-associated illness (18%). Hospitalization and antibiotic use were significant independent risk factors. Clinical diagnoses in patients with C difficile cytotoxin included classic pseudomembranous colitis, acute self-resolving diarrheal syndrome, chronic diarrhea with failure to thrive, infant botulism, and asymptomatic carriage.

(Am J Dis Child 1983;137:271-274)