Outcomes in patients with sars-cov-2 and clostridioides difficile coinfection

Kanika Sehgal, Hind J. Fadel, Aaron J. Tande, Darrell S. Pardi, Sahil Khanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) is primarily a respiratory disease. However, it may manifest with gastrointestinal symptoms that may overlap with Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). COVID-19 appears to have higher mortality in those with comorbidities. We aimed to assess the outcomes of coinfection in these patients. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted to identify patients with CDI and COVID-19 from January 1st, 2020 to November 17th, 2020. Both infections were diagnosed via PCR. Clinical features, treatment for COVID-19 and CDI and outcomes including intensive care unit admission, colectomy, 30 day-mortality and long-term complications were analyzed. Results: Overall, 21 patients (20 hospitalized) with median age 70.9 years (range 51.8–90.7 years) had CDI and COVID-19 within 4 weeks of each other. Of these, 4 patients (19%) with CDI were diagnosed with COVID-19 at the time of admission, 12 (57%) had CDI diagnosed after COVID-19, and 5 (23.9%) developed COVID-19 within 4 weeks after CDI. Fourteen patients (66.7%) were treated with medications directed against COVID-19 including remde-sivir and dexamethasone (n=7), remdesivir with convalescent plasma (n= 1), remdesivir (n= 5) and dexamethasone (n=1). The most common treatment for CDI was oral vancomycin in 20 patients (95.2%), and 1 patient received intravenous metronidazole. No patient required colectomy for CDI but 2 (9.5%) required ICU admission. Four patients (19%) died likely due to COVID-19 with median age 80 years (range 61–90 years). Conclusion: The relationship between COVID-19 and CDI is poorly understood, and studies are required to further investigate this association. Whether coinfection results in a worsening of outcomes, including mortality and clinical course, are questions that should be answered in future research studies. Diagnosing both infections for appropriate management is vital in light of overlapping symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1645-1648
Number of pages4
JournalInfection and Drug Resistance
StatePublished - 2021


  • Antibiotics
  • C. difficile
  • COVID-19
  • Diarrhea
  • Infection
  • Microbiome
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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