What CDC is Doing to Reduce C. diff Infections

CDC is working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other federal partners to reduce C. diff infections.

To reach our goal of reducing C. diff infections, CDC is:

  • Continuing to promote CDC’s guidelines for infection control and working with partners to facilitate implementation. (See the Infection Control Guideline Library).
  • Supporting prevention collaboratives and prevention programs in states with high C. diff infection rates.
  • Working with healthcare facilities to identify and address barriers for C. diff infection prevention.
  • Expanding implementation of antibiotic stewardship programs in all healthcare settings, including dental offices and outpatient settings, and focusing on specific antibiotics linked to C. diff infections.
  • Using innovation to address critical questions such as the role of asymptomatic carriers, transmission dynamics, the patient’s microbiome, and environmental cleaning.

C. diff infections are an urgent problem in hospitals, nursing homes, and in communities. C. diff infections can spread more widely when patients move between these healthcare facilities, both within and between communities.

With our public health partners, we are:

  • Tracking and reporting national progress toward preventing  C. diff infections in many types of healthcare facilities. These programs help track the size of the problem, antibiotics used, and people at risk. The National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress Report provides a summary of select HAIs, including C. diff, across four healthcare settings.
  • Promoting C. diff prevention programs and providing gold-standard patient safety recommendations.
  • Providing prevention expertise, as well as outbreak and laboratory support to health departments and facilities.
How does CDC track C. diff infections?
Explore CDC’s HAIC Viz  Candida | CDI | iSA | MuGSI  Summary Data for Healthcare-Associated Pathogens 180 by 150 button

These CDC programs help track the size of the problem, antibiotics used in treating the infection, and people with C. diff infections.

What research is CDC doing to reduce C. diff infections?

CDC works with networks of trusted partners to discover, implement, and evaluate innovative ways to improve healthcare quality and patient safety.

One example is CDC’s investment in projects expanding our understanding of the relationship between antibiotics and the microbiome. Antibiotics can disrupt (unbalance) your microbiome, a community of naturally occurring germs in and on our bodies.

Understanding how the microbiome and infections are connected is the next frontier in protecting the public’s health. Together with researchers, CDC is answering:

  • How do antibiotics disrupt a healthy microbiome?
  • How does a disrupted microbiome put us at risk?
  • How can tailoring antibiotic use protect the microbiome?

CDC-Supported Prevention and Research

Other efforts to reduce C. diff

Federal Initiatives

  • The National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections provides a road map for preventing HAIs in acute care hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, end-stage renal disease facilities, and long-term care facilities, and for implementing antibiotic stewardship efforts as a means of HAI prevention.
  • The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is a family of databases, software tools and related products developed through a Federal-State-Industry partnership.

Academic and Professional Partners