Indian J Med Microbiol. 2020 Apr-Jun;38(2):176-182. doi: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_20_300. Epub 2020 Dec 2.
PURPOSE: Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is an important causative agent of nosocomial diarrhoea and has become a major worldwide public health concern. The current study was conducted to determine the prevalence of C. difficile infection (CDI) amongst patients with nosocomial diarrhoea in a large tertiary care hospital in Taif, Saudi Arabia, and to define molecular characteristics and antimicrobial sensitivity profiles of C. difficile strains isolated from those patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Stool specimens were collected from 456 patients and were cultured for C. difficile isolation. The isolates were subjected to multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detecting genes encoding the toxins (toxin A, toxin B and binary toxin [CDT]), genotyping by PCR ribotyping method and antimicrobial sensitivity testing using E test strips.
RESULTS: Seventy-four C. difficile strains were recovered, of which 44 (59.5%) were A+B+CDT-, 14 (18.9%) were A-B+CDT-, 4 (5.4%) were A+B+CDT+ and 12 (16.2%) were A-B-CDT-. Toxigenic strains, and hence CDI, were detected in 13.6% of the patients (62/456). Fourteen different ribotypes were distinguished amongst bacterial isolates, of which ribotypes 002, 001, 017, 014 and 020 were the most prevalent (20.3%, 18.9%, 18.9%, 9.5% and 8.1%, respectively). Four isolates (5.4%) belonged to ribotype 027. All bacterial isolates showed sensitivity to metronidazole, vancomycin and piperacillin-tazobactam. The isolates exhibited resistance to linezolid (2.7%), chloramphenicol (5.4%), rifampicin (13.5%), tetracycline (21.6%), moxifloxacin (48.6%), clindamycin (54%) and imipenem (83.8%). Multiple drug resistance was observed in 56.8% of the isolates.
CONCLUSION: Further larger studies are required for an accurate understanding of CDI epidemiology in Saudi Arabia.