Clostridioides difficile colonization and infection in patients with newly diagnosed acute leukemia: Incidence, risk factors, and patient outcomes

Published:November 22, 2018DOI:


      The frequency, risk factors, and outcomes for Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in patients with newly diagnosed acute leukemia (AL) admitted for induction therapy are unclear.


      We studied 509 consecutive patients with AL admitted between 2006 and 2017 and conducted a prospective C difficile surveillance and ribotyping analysis in a subset of these.


      The incidence of CDI was 2.2/1,000 inpatient days during induction, and CDI was rare after discharge. CDI was highest in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia. A hospitalization shortly before admission and administration of a greater number of antibiotics increased the risk for CDI. No single class of antibiotics conveyed an increased risk. All cases were successfully treated, and CDI was not associated with an increase in length of stay, costs, or mortality. In a subgroup analysis, 16% of patients with acute myelogenous leukemia and 4% with other leukemia types were colonized on admission. Colonization was associated with a higher risk of CDI. Ribotyping of available isolates showed 27 different strain types with 014/020 and 027 being the most frequent.


      The number of antibiotics administered are a major risk factor for CDI in patients with AL. However, CDI appears to have minimal clinical impact in this population.

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