A toxin-producing bacterium which can infect the bowel, causing illness with diarrhoea and fever, especially in people who have been treated with antibiotics.
Clostridium difficile, a Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium (see clostridium)‘Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from the potentially life threatening C. difficile bacterial infection in their intestines.’
- ‘The bacterium C. difficile was responsible for almost half a million infections.’
- ‘Hand sanitizers won't work against the infection caused by C. difficile.’
- ‘C. difficile infections cause immense suffering.’
- ‘C. difficile infection most commonly occurs in older people.’
- ‘C. difficile produces highly resistant and infectious spores.’
- ‘This study highlights the ease and rapidity with which the hospital bacterium, C. difficile, can spread throughout the world.’
- ‘These events triggered large-scale C. difficile outbreaks in many hospitals.’
- ‘Nearly half of hospitals aren't taking key steps to prevent C. difficile.’
- ‘Patients with C. difficile often experience recurrent episodes of the infection.’
Although the word difficile has four syllables in the original Latin, three-syllable pronunciations are more typically used in English by medical professionals and others
1960s abbreviation of the Latin binomial Clostridium difficile, from clostridium + Latin difficile neuter singular of difficilis ‘difficult’.