Incidence of Clostridioides difficile infection in peripartum women: a retrospective cohort study

Srishti Saha, Ryan Pardi, Regan N. Theiler, Darrell S. Pardi, Sahil Khanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The incidence of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is increasing in the general population. Data on the epidemiology of CDI in peripartum women – a highly vulnerable patient population – is scarce. The objective of this study was to report the incidence of CDI in peripartum women. Methods: A single-center retrospective cohort study was conducted in peripartum women from 1997 to 2017. Peripartum CDI was defined as definite CDI (watery diarrhea for >24 h with positive stool assay) during pregnancy, or within 6 weeks postpartum. Incidence was reported per 100,000 pregnancies and time trends in incidence were analyzed using Poisson regression. Analyses were done separately for time trends before and after 2007, when CDI testing strategy changed to polymerase chain reaction. Results: From 1997 to 2017, 80 patients with peripartum CDI (47 during pregnancy, 33 postpartum) out of 125,683 pregnancies (0.064%) were identified. Incidence of CDI increased 3.4 fold (95% confidence interval 1.5–7.4, p = 0.005) over the 21 year period. Time trends were evident after (p = 0.054), but not before 2007 (p = 0.97). Conclusion: Incidence of CDI in peripartum women increased over the 21 year study period. The rise in incidence is concerning, and calls for heightened surveillance for CDI in this highly vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology
StatePublished - 2020


  • Clostridioides difficile infection
  • incidence
  • obstetric
  • peripartum
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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