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CLOSTRIDIUM DIFFICILE

Anaerobic bacterium that is the most important cause of healthcare-acquired gastrointestinal infection. Present harmlessly in the gut of around 3% of adults and 66% of children. Can multiply rapidly and produce toxins when certain antibiotics upset the balance of the gut flora. Most cases (80%) occur in over-65s. Infection is very contagious and spores are very hardy.

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