Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Facility-Onset Clostridiodes difficile Infection

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Open Forum Infect Dis


Background. It is estimated that the majority of hospitalized COVID-19 patients around the world received antibiotics despite the fact that bacterial co-infections are rare. This can lead to increased antimicrobial resistance and Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI). Gastrointestinal symptoms of COVID-19 may also contribute to increased testing. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our healthcare facility-onset (HO) CDI rates. Methods. This was a retrospective cross-sectional study comparing CDI rate per 1,000 patient days, C. diff order rate per 1,000 patient days, Standardized Antimicrobial Administration Ratio (SAAR), and Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR) in the pre-COVID-19 period from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 to the COVID-19 period from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 at a 877-bed tertiary care hospital in Detroit, Michigan. CDI and order rates were extracted from the electronic medical record (Epic™ Bugsy). SAAR and SIR data were extracted from National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Results. The average CDI rate per 1,000 patient days was 4.29 pre-COVID-19 compared to 1.98 during COVID-19 with a 54% reduction, and the C. diff order rate per 1,000 patient days also decreased from 130.89 to 93.03, resulting in a 29% reduction (Figure 1). The SIR was 0.383 compared to 0.308 during COVID-19 (P-value 0.404). SAAR decreased from 1.095 to 0.945 (P-value < 0.001). However, our institution experienced three COVID-19 waves, with peaks in April 2020, November 2020 and March 2021, that correlated with high risk CDI antibiotic utilization in intensive care unit (ICU) (Figure 2). The average hand hygiene rate increased from 82% to 92%. Conclusion. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the HO-CDI and C. diff order rates and overall SAAR decreased; however, antibiotic utilization increased in the ICU during the COVID-19 waves. The overall decrease may be multifactorial and related to increased hand hygiene compliance, isolation and personal protective equipment use and overall decreased antibiotic use and C. diff orders.

Medical Subject Headings

Infectious Diseases

PubMed ID

Not assigned.





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