Item Number: GMUS-PD-0105
Giant Microbes C. Diff (Clostridioides Difficile) plush
Give it up for M.C. Diff, hospitals' most notorious gangsta! Makes a great training tool for disease prevention.
All About C. Diff (Clostridioides Difficile)
FACTS: Clostridioides difficile, or C. diff for short, is a very common bacteria found in water, air, soil, and many other environments. However, it is becoming notorious as a cause of infections contracted in healthcare settings such as hospitals and nursing-homes. It can cause severe diarrhea and cramping, as well as inflammation of the colon - and in some instances it can be life-threatening.
C. diff infections typically strike when, or shortly after, a patient undergoes a regime of antibiotics. While targeted at virulent bacteria, antibiotic treatments also destroy many of the numerous beneficial bacteria that reside in the gastrointestinal tract. As these good bacteria succumb, competition for resources is reduced, allowing pathogenic bacteria such as C. diff to flourish.
Because healthcare patients often suffer from weakened immune systems (due to illness or age), they are particularly prone to C. diff infections. Furthermore, C. difficile can spread easily from one patient to others via the fecal-oral route - often on the hands of caregivers themselves. As a result, long-term stays in healthcare establishments further elevate the risk of infection.
Finally, C. diff has the ability to form hardy spores that can survive in harsh environmental conditions for months. While bleach-based disinfectants are effective against the spores, they are not always practical to use - which makes C. difficile an increasingly difficult problem for healthcare establishments. And their patients.
DESCRIPTION Overgrowth of C. diff. bacteria in the digestive tract. These bacteria naturally occur in the body, however, having too many of them causes problems. They release toxins that damage the lining of the intestines. People on long-term antibiotics are at risk because their gut bacteria are imbalanced, and C. diff. can multiply. The infection can spread through C. diff. spores in feces. Fun gift for a medical professional.
NAME The genus, Clostridium, comes from the Greek word kloster -spindle-- because the colonies look like spindles. The species, difficile, was derived because it was difficult to isolate and grow in pure culture.
SYMPTOMS Clostridium difficile colitis (inflammation of colon), diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite
CURE 2 weeks of oral antibiotics and discontinuation of the antibiotics that caused the infection.
HISTORY 1935: Identified by Hall and O’Toole.
1974: High rates of antibiotic related colitis at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.
2011: C. diff. outbreaks in multiple hospitals in Ontario, Canada.
FASCINATING FACTS Estimated 500,000 infections, 30,000 related deaths, and 15,000 direct deaths in the U.S. per year.