Asymptomatic carriers of toxigenic C. difficile in long-term care facilities: A meta-analysis of prevalence and risk factors

Panayiotis D. Ziakas, Ioannis M. Zacharioudakis, Fainareti N. Zervou, Christos Grigoras, Elina Eleftheria Pliakos, Eleftherios Mylonakis

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53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The impact of Clostridium difficile colonization in C. difficile infection (CDI) is inadequately explored. As a result, asymptomatic carriage is not considered in the development of infection control policies and the burden of carrier state in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) is unknown. Purpose: To explore the epidemiology of C. difficile colonization in LTCFs, identify predisposing factors and describe its impact on healthcare management. Data Sources: PubMed, Embase and Web of Science (up to June 2014) without language restriction, complemented by reference lists of eligible studies. Study Selection: All studies providing extractable data on the prevalence of toxigenic C. difficile colonization among asymptomatic residents in LTCFs. Data Extraction: Two authors extracted data independently. Statistical Methods: The pooled colonization estimates were calculated using the double arcsine methodology and reported along with their 95% random-effects confidence intervals (CIs), using DerSimonian-Laird weights. We assessed the impact of patient-level covariates on the risk of colonization and effects were reported as odds ratios (OR, 95% CI). We used the colonization estimates to simulate the effective reproduction number R through a Monte Carlo technique. Results: Based on data from 9 eligible studies that met the specified criteria and included 1,371 subjects, we found that 14.8% (95%CI 7.6%-24.0%) of LTCF residents are asymptomatic carriers of toxigenic C. difficile. Colonization estimates were significantly higher in facilities with prior CDI outbreak (30.1% vs. 6.5%, p = 0.01). Patient history of CDI (OR 6.07; 95% CI 2.06-17.88; effect derived from 3 studies), prior hospitalization (OR 2.11; 95% CI 1.08-4.13; derived from 3 studies) and antimicrobial use within previous 3 months (OR 3.68; 95% CI 2.04-6.62; derived from 4 studies) were associated with colonization. The predicted colonization rate at admission was 8.9%. Conclusion: Asymptomatic carriage of toxigenic C. difficile represents a significant burden in LTCFs and is associated with prior CDI outbreaks in the facility, a history of CDI, prior hospitalization and antimicrobial use. These findings can impact infection control measures at LTCFs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0117195
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 23 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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