Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile in children with diarrhoea in Vietnam

Peng An Khun, Duc Long Phi, Thi Phuong Pham, Thi Thu Ha Nguyen, Thi Huyen Quyen Vu, Deirdre Collins, Thomas Riley

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Background Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile commonly causes hospital-acquired infection which can range from mild diarrhoea to life-threatening toxic megacolon and even death. Reports on C. difficile infection (CDI) in Vietnam are limited, so this study was designed to evaluate the prevalence, molecular epidemiology and antimicrobial susceptibility of C. difficile isolated from children with diarrhoea in Vietnam. Infants are often colonised with C. difficile and it was hypothesised that those colonising strains would represent strains of C. difficile circulating in the hospital/region at the time, however, this was not an attempt to determine if C. difficile was the cause of the diarrhoea. Methods Diarrhoeal stool samples collected at two children's hospitals in northern Vietnam from 1st October 2020 to 28th February 2021 were transported to Perth, Western Australia, for culture of C. difficile and further investigations on isolates; PCR ribotyping, toxin gene profiling and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Results From these hospitals, 370 diarrhoeal stool samples were collected, most from children aged 1–15 months (71.9%; 266/370). The overall prevalence of C. difficile in stool samples from children aged ≤16 years was 37.8% (140/370) and the highest prevalence was in the 2–12 months age group (52.9%; 74/140). In total, 151 isolates of C. difficile were recovered; the proportion of toxigenic isolates was 16.6% (25/151). Of the 25 toxigenic C. difficile isolates, the toxin gene profiles A⁺B⁺CDT⁻ and A⁻B⁺CDT⁻ comprised 72% and 28%, respectively. The four most prevalent C. difficile ribotypes (RTs) were QX 011 (25/151), RT 010 (25/151), QX 107 (12/151) and RT 012 (11/151). All isolates were susceptible to vancomycin, metronidazole and fidaxomicin, while there was significant resistance to clindamycin (90.1%), and some to moxifloxacin (6.6%) and rifaximin (3.3%). Conclusion The prevalence of C. difficile in children with diarrhoea was high (37.8%) although the proportion of toxigenic strains was comparatively low. The clinical significance of any isolate needs to be determined.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102550
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


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