Arlington Medical Resources (AMR) and Decision Resources find that relapse or recurrence of infections is the most challenging aspect of treating Clostridium difficile infections in the hospital setting. Surveyed infectious disease specialists emphasize the need for new agents that have lower relapse rates than the current standard-of-care. Currently, clinicians have limited treatment options for patients with this infection; oral metronidazole (Pfizer's Flagyl, Sanofi Aventis's Rodogyl, generics) and oral vancomycin (ViroPharma's Vancocin) are the most commonly used agents for treating both first and relapse episodes of Clostridium difficile infections in the United States and Europe.
In the new report entitled Hospital Anti-Infectives Insight Series: Clostridium Difficile, surveyed infectious disease specialists indicate that new strains of Clostridium difficile and the lack of effective second- and later-line therapies are also significant challenges in treatment.
Clostridium difficile is a gram-positive bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from severe diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. A new hypervirulent strain, BI/NAP1/027, has been associated with severe outbreaks of Clostridium difficile in North America and Europe, and has raised awareness about the need for improved treatment and prevention strategies for this infection.
"Clostridium difficile infections represent a growing area of concern due to the increased incidence of these infections and a limited number of treatment options," stated Lisa Arias, analyst at Decision Resources. "Surveyed physicians would like to see novel therapies that have a lower recurrence rate than current agents."