Varies. Usually people acquire c. Diff while in the hospital or nursing home. The bacteria can be spread if hands are not washed properly. Patients usually have recent antibiotic exposure to treat infections, weakened immune system, are over the age of 65, colon disease, previous abdominal or gastrointestinal surgery, or previous history of c. Diff.
Process. C. Difficile is not normally found in gut flora. Therefore, a c diff infection involves 2 main steps- first, the spore of c diff are ingested (points to the role of environment and importance of hand hygiene).; second, the bowel microflora environment is altered to the point where it favors the growth of cdiff from its spore form. Antibiotics are key this second step.
C diff. One way is by excessive amount of antibiotics. Clindamycin is know for causing this.
Antibiotic takers. The primary risk for c. Difficile disease is taking antibiotics which cause dysbiosis and allow overgrowth of this toxin producing bacteria in the gut. Taking the anti-acid drugs called proton pump inhibitors also increase the risk as does being in the hospital when taking antibiotics or anti-cancer chemotherapy.