Duke University A new research from the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network claims that even though prevention techniques seem to be aiding to lower hospital infection rates from MRSA, a lethal antibiotic-resistant bacterium, a new superbug is said to be on the rise.

New data seemingly exhibits that infections from Clostridium difficile are believed to be exceeding methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in community hospitals.

“We found that MRSA infections have declined steadily since 2005, but C. difficile infections have increased since 2007,” commented, Becky Miller, MD, an infectious diseases fellow at Duke University Medical Center.

C. difficile is claimed to be a multi-drug resistant bacterium that appears to cause diarrhea and in a few cases life-threatening inflammation of the colon. The infections are believed to be presently treated with one of two antibiotics. But relapses are apparently ordinary and seem to take place in one-quarter of patients despite treatment, as per Miller.

Daniel Sexton, MD, director of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON), commented, “This is not a nuisance disease. A small percentage of patients with C. difficile may die, despite treatment. Also, it is likely that the routine use of alcohol-containing hand cleansers to prevent infections from MRSA does not simultaneously prevent infections due to C. difficile.”

Miller and her team apparently assessed data from roughly 28 hospitals in DICON, a partnership between Duke and around 39 community hospitals placed in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The group attempts to enhance infection control programs by accumulating data on infections arising at member hospitals, recognizing trends and regions for improvement, and offering continuing education and leadership to community providers.

During the 24-month duration, there were around 847 cases of C. difficile infections in the 28 hospitals and the rate of C. difficile infection was believed to be around 25 percent more as compared to the rate of infection owing to MRSA.

Miller mentioned, “C. difficile is very common and deserves more attention. Most people continue to think of MRSA as the big, bad superbug. Based on our data, we can see that this thinking, along with prevention methods, will need to change.”

In the past, hospitals apparently concentrated on MRSA and crafted their prevention techniques on MRSA. C. difficile had supposedly encompassed a low precedence for hospitals, but now it appears to have a comparatively vital priority.

The findings were presented at the Fifth Decennial International Conference on Healthcare-Associated Infections in Atlanta, Georgia.