TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Childhood factors could predispose adults to C. difficile infection

Certain factors in infancy and childhood may predispose adults to develop Clostridium difficile infection, according to research recently presented at the American College of Gastroenterology's 78th annual scientific meeting in San Diego.

The data of a survey suggested that being born at home, avoiding antibiotics during childhood and infancy and being breastfed appear to be protective against adulthood C. difficile infections. C. difficile is the leading cause of healthcare-associated diarrhea.

"Although more studies need to be done to confirm our data, this survey was able to show the influence factors of infancy and childhood that may predispose adults to the development of C. difficile infection," Ana Maria Crissien, the lead author of the study, said. "The microbiome is a very active area of research and we will continue to collect data and plan a prospective study to look at the influences on the microbiome and the development of C. difficile."

Many scientists are currently conducting research on the gut microbiota, the microbial population residing in the digestive tract, and its role in disease and health.

The authors noted that decisions regarding birth methods, administration of antibiotics, infant feeding and hospitalization in children and infants should be based on maternal and infant health, not on scientific surveys.