C. diff vaccine trial fast-tracked by FDA
(NBC NEWS/KPLC) - It is a dangerous infection we have reported several times in our What's Going Around: C. diff or or Clostridium difficile.
Infectious disease physicians say it is like a terrible stomach bug and linked to antibiotic usage, as well as hospital stays.
A clinical trial for a C. diff vaccine has been fast-tracked by the Food and Drug Administration to get protection to people most at risk as quickly, and safely, as possible.
Clostridium difficile or C. diff is a bacteria that causes a severe infection in your intestines, according to Dr. Kevin Schlamp with Schlamp Family Medicine in Sulphur.
"It's an extremely hard bug to get rid of once you've got it," said Dr. Schlamp, "and it occurs more in people who are immunocompromised, the older people."
Close to half a million people every year develop a C. diff infection and patients in nursing homes or hospitals are most at risk.
The infection is transmitted from surfaces or infected people.
200 health clinics and institutions across the country are participating in the final stages of a clinical trial for a C. diff vaccine, including three in Louisiana.
The vaccine would not prevent you from getting C. diff, but it would prevent the infection from becoming more serious.
The FDA granted a fast-track for the clinical trial.
The nationwide trial is enrolling patients 50 and older, who have never had C. diff, and have recently been hospitalized and on antibiotics.
In Louisiana, clinics in Opelousas, Metairie, and New Orleans are participating.
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