Enterotoxigenic Clostridium perfringens infection and pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
Clostridium difficile is the major cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and is the most well known bacterial pathogen associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Enterotoxigenic Clostridium perfringens has also been detected in up to 15% of antibiotic-associated diarrhea cases, and it has not been found in healthy people. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of C. perfringens infection in pediatric patients with IBD.
This was a prospective, controlled study evaluating pediatric IBD patients in the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition in Warsaw, Poland. All of the patients were diagnosed according to the Porto criteria. There were two control groups: (1) non-IBD patients that were suspected for bacterial diarrhea and (2) healthy children. Stool samples were collected on the day of admission. C. perfringens infection diagnosis was based on a positive stool enzyme immunoassay (C. perfringens enterotoxin test kit TechLab).
91 fecal specimens from patients with IBD were collected.
The average patient age was 11.7years in IBD group, 7.4years in non-IBD patients with diarrhea, and 7.4years in healthy children.
The prevalence of C. perfringens infection was 9% (8/91; CI 95% 4.6-16.4).
There were more Crohn’s patients (6/8) in the C. perfringens positive group.
There was no C. perfringens infection in the two control groups.
Our pilot data add evidence to the hypothesis that Clostridia other than C. difficile may play a significant role in the clinical course of IBD. However, further studies are needed to confirm this.