Analysis of every C. diff infection in Oxfordshire for more than three years showed less than a fifth of cases had been spread between hospital patients.
Researchers essentially tried to build a family tree of the cases. They took samples of the bacterium from every infected patient and looked at the gut bug’s DNA. If the genetic codes of bacteria in two patients are similar, it suggests that they came from the same source.
This genetic information was combined with patient records to try to work out where the infection was coming from. Their conclusion, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, was that just 18% of infections were being spread between patients in hospital.
Read the full, original story here: Most C. diff infections are ‘not hospital spread’