HealthDay News — Nearly 1 in 10 patients admitted to a hospital with no symptoms of diarrhea may be a carrier of Clostridioides difficile, according to a study published online in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Sarah W. Baron, MD, from the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, and colleagues tested perirectal swabs by polymerase chain reaction for C difficile within 24 hours of admission among adults admitted without diarrhea. The analysis included 220 patients, who were followed for 6 months to identify progression to symptomatic C difficile.

The researchers found that 9.6% of patients were C difficile carriers, including 10.2% of the nursing facility residents and 7.7% of the community residents. Progression to symptomatic C difficile was seen in 38.1% of the 21 carriers but only in 2.0% of the noncarriers (4 of 199; hazard ratio, 23.9).

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“Asymptomatic carriers may represent a significant reservoir for transmission of C difficile, and progression from asymptomatic carriage to symptomatic C difficile infection may account for a significant proportion of C difficile infection that is classified as ‘health care-facility onset,'” the authors write.

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