C Diff Taking Same Path as CA-MRSA
C Diff is moving quickly along the same path as MRSA. Dr. Bruce Hirsch, a specialist in infectious diseases at North Shore, said C. diff is an ancient bacterium. “C. diff can live in us without causing disease,” Hirsch explained, saying many people carry it naturally. “So having C. diff in us does not mean we have an infection. It is common in us just after we’re born.
“What we don’t have is the receptor for the toxin,” he said of the molecular key that unlocks C. diff’s toxin-spewing capacity. Newer, mutant C. diff is fully equipped with the receptor and is capable of boosting the amount of toxin produced. It is the toxin that makes C. diff lethal, causing potentially fatal intestinal inflammation.
C Diff and MRSA appear to be the tip of the iceberg of diseases that are going to emerge as Super bugs if not kept in check. And there is a new bad twist to C Diff. Although it is a bacteria found in the intestines naturally, this virulent strain has another nasty feature.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, commonly used in hospitals, can kill MRSA and other bacteria that contaminate the hands of health care workers, but are powerless against C. diff’s spores. Surfaces touched by C. diff patients must be cleaned frequently with bleach.
So be prepared for this war with microbes that is slated to do more damage than the war in Iraq has so far and could be the biggest killer we have faced.