Clostridium difficile (CD) infection (CDI) is the leading cause of healthcare associated diarrhea despite intense hospital infection prevention programs. A substantial proportion of the population is asymptomatically colonized with CD, and evidence is mounting that these individuals serve as a reservoir for CDI. The purpose of this review is to discuss the mechanisms by which individuals may harbor toxigenic CD but remain asymptomatic, the evidence that asymptomatically colonized individuals serve as a source of CDI, and the implications of this potential CD reservoir for healthcare infection prevention.
- Clostridium difficile
- Clostridium difficile infection
- asymptomatic carriage
- molecular epidemiology