Nav: Home

New C. diff treatment reduces recurrent infections by 40 percent

January 25, 2017

A new treatment for Clostridium difficile (C.diff) infections reduces recurrent infections by nearly 40%, a large study has found.

C.diff, a bacterium that infects the bowel, is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitalised patients. Recurrences are common after antibiotic treatment, are a cause of readmissions to hospital, and in some cases can be fatal.

Now a team of researchers have found that the addition of a drug called bezlotoxumab (Merck) to standard antibiotic treatment can reduce the risk of a repeat infection by 37%. Bezlotoxumab is a human monocalonal antibody and works by neutralising a toxin produced by the C.diff bacteria that damages the gut wall.

Mark Wilcox, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Leeds, led the study, which is published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Professor Wilcox said: "About one in four patients who have been treated with antibiotics for an initial C.diff infection will go on to have a repeat infection.

"These repeat infections are more difficult to treat, have more severe outcomes for the patient, and are associated with more hospitalisations. It is important to treat the first episodes of C. diff infection optimally, as each recurrence increases the chance of another episode even more.

"Fewer recurrent infections would mean less need to use antibiotics, fewer hospital admissions, reduced costs for the NHS and possibly a reduction in deaths."

For the study, doctors conducted a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial involving 2,655 adults across over 300 hospitals in 30 countries worldwide.

All the participants had primary or recurrent C.diff infections and were receiving standard-of-care antibiotics (metronidazole, vancomycin or fidaxomicin).

They were randomly assigned to receive infusions of:
  • a single dose of (another human monocalonal antibody) actoxumab (10mg per kilogram of body weight)

  • a single dose of bezlotoxumab (10mg per kilogram of body weight)

  • a single dose of bezlotoxumab plus actotoxumab (10mg per kg of body weight)

  • a placebo (saline)
After initial cure of their C.diff, the patients were then followed up for 12 weeks to see how many developed another C.diff infection.
  • In the actoxumab group, 26% developed another C.diff infection

  • In the bezlotoxumab group, 17% developed another C.diff infection

  • In the bezlotoxumab/actotoxumab group, 15% developed another C.diff infection

  • In the placebo group, 27% developed another C.diff infection.

    "Doctors should now consider which patients could best benefit from use of bezlotoxumab," said Professor Wilcox.
"The studies showed that bezlotoxumab was particularly effective in those patients with risk factors for poor outcome, including older age, immunocompromise, and severe infection."

University of Leeds

Related Antibiotic Treatment Articles:

Treatment with long term, low dose antibiotic could help people born with chronic lung condition
Taking a low dose of the antibiotic azithromycin for 6 months reduces symptoms for patients with the chronic lung condition primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.
Prolonged antibiotic treatment may alter preterm infants' microbiome
Treating preterm infants with antibiotics for more than 20 months appears to promote the development of multidrug-resistant gut bacteria, suggests a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Antibiotic treatment alleviates Alzheimer's disease symptoms in male mice, study reveals
Researchers at The University of Chicago have demonstrated that the type of bacteria living in the gut can influence the development of Alzheimer's disease symptoms in mice.
New non-antibiotic strategy for the treatment of bacterial meningitis
With the increasing threat of antibiotic resistance, there is a growing need for new treatment strategies against life threatening bacterial infections.
Zinc could help as non-antibiotic treatment for UTIs
New details about the role of zinc in our immune system could help the development of new non-antibiotic treatment strategies for bacterial diseases, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs).
More Antibiotic Treatment News and Antibiotic Treatment Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...