Lege Artis Medicinae

[Actualities in the epidemiology, diagnostics and therapy of Clostridium difficile infections - a European outlook]

NAGY Erzsébet

FEBRUARY 14, 2014

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2014;24(01-02)

[Despite of the facts that Clostridium difficile has been accepted as an enteral pathogen since 1978 and during the past years we have learned a lot about its pathogenic toxins and about diagnostic possibilites, this pathogen has not attracted major interest until the early 2000s. The rapid increase of nosocomial diarrhoea caused by some hypervirulent ribotypes of C. difficile in a number of countries, followed by the increased number of community-acquired cases and the appearance of new risk factors besides antibiotic-related diarrhoeas have put C. difficile infections (CDI) in the focus of research. The rapid and correct diagnosis of the hospital or community acquired diarrhoeas enables clinicians to discontinue - if possible - the usage of the antibiotic therapy responsible for the symptoms, to start treatment early and introduce hospital hygiene measures as soon as possible. The aim of this article is similar to that of the “CDI Europe Report”, an initiative led by European experts: to draw attention on the importance of C. difficile infections in Hungary and in Europe by summarising the latest epidemiological data, the recommended diagnostic algorithm, therapeutic options and the importance of local and national surveillance and infection control measures in hospitals. Clostri]

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[In the past 10 years, a number of screening programs with various goals have been started in Hungary, with varying degrees of success. The „Comprehensive Health Screening of Hungary 2010-2020” program has been touring the country (with a screening truck), either joining organised events or as an independent screening, collaborating with local healthcare centers (primary care, occupational healthcare etc). The screening program has been conducted in a special truck, in which various examinations were performed in a set time. Those who participated in the screening received a prevention information pack (for studying and reading at home) and the official publication of the program (Health Book), in which the program and the screening results were described. In the past four years the screening truck has been to 725 places in Hungary and travelled 83,145 kilometers. 87,935 people have participated in comprehensive screening. 194,549 visitors received lifestyle counseling and 142,319 received Prevention Packs. In total 2,901,855 examinations have been performed, which required 6711 hours of work of 1132 healthcare professionals. 5,856,114 answers were given to queries of the survey related to the health status of the Hungarian population. The program has already overfulfiled its original goals to visit 1500 locations and perform 8 million examination during this period. It is of particular significance that the average age of participants was 40 years. As cardiovascular risk is still the leading health risk, screening for such risk factors has to be part of all general and complex screening programs. In this program, an increasing number of validated, rapid and effective risk-estimation tests were used. It is remarkable that 20% of the tests related to colorectal cancer risk has positive results. Also of importance are the test results for hearing loss (7% positive) and various degrees of visual impairment (over 50%). Both results have significant social and economical implications for both individuals and the society. Unfortunately, the general level of health consciousness is still low. This might be improved not only by the screening itself but the opportunity to inform the public and provide organised counselling and printed materials, for which the activity and expertise of professional healthcare worker is essential. ]

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