Risk factors for Clostridium difficile infection in the community: a case-control study in patients in general practice, Denmark, 2009-2011

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To identify risk factors for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Danish patients consulting general practice with gastrointestinal symptoms, a prospective matched case-control study was performed; cases (N=259) had positive cultures for toxigenic C. difficile and controls (N=455) negative cultures. Data were analysed by conditional logistic regression. In patients aged 2 years (138 cases), hospitalization [odds ratio (OR) 84, 95% confidence interval (CI) 31-23], consumption of beef (OR 55, 95% CI 20-15), phenoxymethylpenicillin (OR 15, 95% CI 27-82), dicloxacillin (OR 27, 95% CI 36-211), and extended spectrum penicillins (OR 92, 95% CI 19-45) were associated with CDI. In patients aged <2 years none of these were associated with CDI, but in a subgroup analysis contact with animals was associated with CDI (OR 81, 95% CI 10-64). This study emphasizes narrow-spectrum penicillins, and suggests beef consumption, as risk factors for CDI in adults, and indicates a different epidemiology of CDI in infants.


  • L. M. Soes
  • H. M. Holt
  • Blenda Böttiger
  • H. V. Nielsen
  • V. Andreasen
  • M. Kemp
  • K. E. P. Olsen
  • S. Ethelberg
  • K. Molbak
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Microbiology in the medical area


  • Antibiotics, case-control study, children, community-associated, Clostridium difficile infection, zoonoses
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1437-1448
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch