Clostridioides difficile Infection

C. diff can cause infections in people who have recently taken antibiotics.

Clostridioides difficile [klos–TRID–e–OY-dees dif–uh–SEEL] (C. diff ) is a germ (bacteria) that causes life-threatening diarrhea. It is usually a side-effect of taking antibiotics.

These infections mostly occur in:

  • People 65 and older who take antibiotics and receive medical care
  • People staying in hospitals and nursing homes for a long period of time
  • People with weakened immune systems or previous infection with C. diff

Symptoms might start within a few days or several weeks after you begin taking antibiotics.

Symptoms include:

  • diarrhea: loose, watery stools (poop) for several days
  • fever
  • stomach tenderness
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea

C. diff can easily spread from person to person.

Also Known As…

Clostridioides difficile is also called

  • C. difficile
  • C. diff
  • CDI (Clostridioides difficile infection)
  • CDAD (Clostridioides difficile-associated disease)

It used to be called…

  • Clostridium difficile

More Information

How common are these infections?

C. diff is a major health threat. In 2017, there were an estimated 223,900 cases in hospitalized patients and 12,800 deaths in the United States [Source: 2019 AR Threats Report].