FRIDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- A test designed to rapidly
detect the genetic fingerprint of
C. diff) bacterial infection has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
C. diff is an intestinal infection that's commonly acquired
by the elderly, hospital patients, people at group living
facilities or nursing homes, and by those taking an antibiotic for
another infection. It's easily spread by touching contaminated
C. diff infection causes diarrhea and intestinal
inflammation, and can lead to complications including colitis, the
FDA said in a news release.
The Cepheid Xpert
C. difficile/Epi assay detects toxin gene sequences
associated with the epidemic 027/NAP1/BI strain of the bacterium in
a person's stool. However, the test should not be used to determine
or monitor treatment, the agency warned.
The best way to prevent infection is via thorough hand-washing
with soap and warm water, the FDA said.
The new test is produced by Cepheid, based in Sunnyvale,
To learn more about this infection, visit the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.