Clostridium Difficile Infections

Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis. Symptoms include

  • Watery diarrhea (at least three bowel movements per day for two or more days)
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness

You might get C. difficile disease if you have an illness that requires prolonged use of antibiotics. Increasingly, the disease can also be spread in the hospital. The elderly are also at risk. Treatment is with antibiotics.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Different Conditions


Enterocolitis due to Clostridium difficile

Pseudomembranous colitis is infection of the large intestine (colon) with an overgrowth of Clostridium difficile bacteria. The overgrowth of Clostridium difficile bacteria occurs if one take antibiotics (antibiotic-associated diarrhea). Pseudomembranous colitis specifically describes the formation of a membranous exudate in the colon, which occurs in approximately half of cases of C. difficile colitis. The illness is characterized by intractable diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain, and in severe cases life-threatening complications can develop, such as toxic megacolon.

Also Known As

  • PMC - [pseudomembranous colitis]
  • Related ICD 10 COde
    ICD 10 Code A04.7


    Infections due to Clostridium difficile

    A disease of the colon, caused by an infection with the gram-positive bacteria Clostridium difficile. This disease is characterized by colitis, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and fever. Transmission is commonly by direct or indirect contact, or from a disturbance of the normal bacterial flora of the colon. Confirmation is by identification of Clostridium difficile in a faecal sample.

    Additional Information

    Clostridium difficile is a gram-positive, anaerobic, spore-forming bacillus that is responsible for the development of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and colitis. C difficile colitis results from a disturbance of the normal bacterial flora of the colon, colonization with C difficile, and release of toxins that cause mucosal inflammation and damage.

    Signs And Symptoms

  • Inflammation (qualifier value)
  • Inflammation (morphologic abnormality)
  • Organ Affected

    Entire intestine (body structure)


    C. difficile Toxin A and Toxin B|Clostridium difficile (organism)

    Abbreviated Terms

  • colitis due to Clostridium difficile
  • Clostridial difficile colitis
  • Clostridium difficile gastroenteritis
  • Related ICD 10 COde
    ICD 10 Code A04.7

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