Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff)
Clostridium difficile, more commonly referred to as C. difficile or C. diff, is a type of bacterium or microorganism that makes it home in the digestive tract. The average person can have as many as 1,000 unique species of microorganisms in their digestive tract and most of them are harmless or even beneficial to your health.
Unfortunately, balance can be disrupted and some forms of bacteria can start to make you sick. C. diff is one of these. As it continues to grow, the bacterium will release toxins that attack the inner lining of the intestines. This causes a condition known as a Clostridium difficile colitis. While rare compared to other forms of intestinal bacteria, C. diff is one of the leading causes of infectious diarrhea in America.
The research team at Avail Clinical Research is conducting C. diff clinical trials here in DeLand, Florida. These research studies are designed to help improve modern medicine and gain a better understanding of this medical condition. Would you be interested in participating in a C. diff clinical trial? Please fill out our form in the right hand of the page to apply online or call us at (386) 785-2400 to speak with a clinical trials expert.
Who is at Risk for C. Diff?
Traditionally, C. difficile was considered to be most common amongst:
- Elderly patients in hospitals
- Patients who are being kept in long-term care facilities
- People who have just finished taking a round of antibiotic medications
- People who have been on antibiotics for an extended period of time
- People taking medications to reduce their stomach acid levels
Additional risk factors for C. diff include:
- Being diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease or colorectal cancer
- Having a weakened or compromised immune system
- Having undergone abdominal surgery or some form of gastrointestinal procedure
- Being older than 65 years
- Have developed a C. diff infection before
What Causes C. Diff?
Clostridium difficile bacteria can be found in almost any type of environment, including:
- Food products
- Processed meats
- Human and animal feces
The most common source of infection comes from being in an environment like a hospital or healthcare facility. This is not to say that hospitals aren’t clean, but there tends to be a higher percentage of patients carrying the bacteria in these environments.
New clinical studies are showing increasing rates of C. diff infections in people who were previously considered at low risk. This would include younger people who are in good overall health, who haven’t taken antibiotics or been hospitalized recently.
Around 500,000 people come down with this bacterial infection each year. Unfortunately, recent trends show that the annual rate of infection is on the rise and the average case has become more severe.
The bacteria can spread to various surfaces, objects or even food after it has been passed from a person’s body. C. difficile produces spores that can survive in the environment for months at a time. infections occur when a person comes in contact with a contaminated surface and then ingests some of the bacteria.
The reason that antibiotic medication is often linked to this infection is because it has a tendency to wipe out some of the beneficial bacteria in your gut along with the harmful stuff. When this environment is thrown out of balance, the C. difficile has an opportunity to grow and proliferate.
Once the bacteria has taken root, it’ll start producing these toxins that can destroy healthy cells and produce significant inflammation in the digestive tract. Plaque and decaying cellular remains will build up in the colon and cause infectious diarrhea.
How can You Prevent C. Diff Infections?
Germs and bacteria can be found in many places. Luckily, you can protect yourself by learning where they tend to live in your home and taking steps to prevent the spread of bacteria like C. difficile.
Here’s a short but really informative video that’ll show you where bacteria can commonly be found in a home:
Want to Enroll in a C. Diff Clinical Trial in Florida?
Interested in participating in a C. diff clinical trial in DeLand? Then our research team would love to hear from you! We know that this isn’t any easy decision, so we’d also love to answer any questions you have about what it means to participate in a clinical study.
All study-related medical care and required treatments will be provided to participants free of charge. Plus, you may receive compensation for you time and any required travel. Please give us a call at (386) 785-2400 if you’d like to learn more.
C. diff is not the only medical condition we are looking to enroll for at Avail Clinical Research. We’re working to help advance modern medicine and could use your help. If you don’t have a medical condition and are otherwise healthy, you can still apply for enrollment in one of our healthy studies clinical trials. Help us solve tomorrow today!