Clostridium difficile (klos-trid-e-um diff-uh-seel) also known as C. difficile or C. diff, is a bacterium that is responsible for mild issues like diarrhea to inflammation of the colon, which is life treating. C. difficile deficiency generally occurs when old age adults are in the hospital or are in long-term care facility and usually after an antibiotic medication usage.
No specific preparation is required. In fact, the stool specimen can be collected at home as well.
The C.difficile test is required when a person has been hospitalized for some days and is suffering from abdominal pain, nausea, fever or watery stools due to intake of antibiotics or due to surgery of gastrointestinal. This test can also be used if a patient develops such symptoms after 6-8 weeks of taking antibiotic medications, after few days of chemotherapy or if the medical practitioner suspects the patients gastrointestinal disorder is getting worse due to C.difficile. The test is also used for patients suffering from diarrhea with no particular reason for the issue to arise. If a patient has been treated for colitis relapses or antibiotic associated diarrhea and symptoms are seen again, then C.difficile test may be suggested by your doctor to check the presence of toxins.
The test done is an initial screen of the stool test to see if the antigen known as glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH). This test is used to detect the antigen that the C.difficile produces, in both non and toxic strains. It is considered as very sensitive, though it's not that specific for the toxin producing C.difficile. The test let's the technician know whether C.difficile is present and if the bacteria is releasing toxins or not.A clean fresh liquid or unformed stool is required for the sample. Their should be no water or urine in the sample. Once collected, give the sterile container with sample to the laboratory immediately so it can be kept in the refrigerator. If the test is of your child then, suggestion is to help him/her in collecting the sample. For this you need to wear latex gloves and collect the sample in a clean sterile container by keeping the container below your child to collect the sample. Be careful not to get any urine, water or dust in the stool as this can harm the sample. If your child is a toddler then you can collect from the diaper and if your child is old enough then, tell what to do.