Clostridioides difficile infection in Africa: A narrative review
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Australia Awards Post-Doctoral Fellowship Grant
Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile infection (CDI) places a burden on healthcare facilities worldwide. Most research studies have been concentrated in high-income countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, where C. difficile is the leading cause of diarrhoea associated with antimicrobial use. This narrative review summarises African CDI studies, focussing on reports published in the last 20 years. Although relatively sparse, the data suggest that CDI is an important cause of diarrhoea on the continent. African CDI patient populations are often younger than in European and North American settings, probably due to the high prevalence of co-morbid conditions such as tuberculosis, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Strain typing data are rare and where reported generally limited to single sites and institutions. Despite challenges, including a lack of facilities and awareness, there is a need for further investigation to more accurately determine the true burden of disease caused by C. difficile in Africa.