News: Clostridium dificile diarrhea linked to maternal deaths and stillbirths

August 1, 2008

In pregnant women, severe Clostridium difficile-associated disease may be an emerging threat.

In pregnant women, severe Clostridium difficile-associated disease may be an emerging threat, according to a report published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Nadine G. Rouphael, MD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues collected clinical and pathology data on severe cases and surveyed 798 infectious disease consultants in the Emerging Infections Network, of whom 419 (52%) responded.

The researchers collected information on 10 severe cases, including three maternal deaths and three stillbirths. In two cases, the epidemic C difficile strain was identified. In their survey, 37 infectious disease consultants cited a total of 55 cases and 21 complications, most of which occurred during the postpartum period.

Rouphael NG, O'Donnell JA, Bhatnagar J, et al. Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea: an emerging threat to pregnant women. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008:198:635.e1-635.e6.