Andrew D. Racine, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Montefiore Medical Center, did the math when Infection Control Today® (ICT) asked whether he was contemplating changing his facility’s approach to combatting Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) after the results of a recent study found that 10% of patients with the infection had contracted it outside of the hospital. “If 10% of the people coming to your institution are carriers of C. diff, that means that 90% are not,” said Racine, when asked whether universal screening would help ward off the infection. “So, you would be doing an awful lot of tests that would essentially be negative.”

Racine quickly adds that the research conducted recently at Montefiore does point “us in a direction where we might want to think about doing some further studies to figure out who should be targeted for testing. Clearly, there are some folks who come who have a much higher likelihood of being carriers. We need to find out what are the characteristics of those folks. Because then it would make sense to narrow testing for those.”

Credit: Jennifer Oosthuizen CDC

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