C. difficile, or Clostridium difficile, is a bacterium that causes gastrointestinal infections, says Medical News Today. Clostridium difficile causes diarrhea, stomachaches and bloody stools, and the primary cause for infection is linked to antibiotic use. It is present in approximately 3 percent of healthy adults, who may never experience symptoms.
According to WebMD, risk factors for a C. difficile infection include prior gastrointestinal surgeries, age, kidney disease, a previous diagnosis of C. difficile and a compromised immune system. Treatments for C. difficile include antibiotic therapy with Flagyl or Vancocin. In addition, doctors may recommend probiotics to help put back good gut flora in the GI tract.
Ways to prevent a Clostridium difficile infection include frequent hand-washing and only using antibiotics when absolutely necessary, states WebMD.