What is the difference between MRSA and C. difficile?

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Marilyn Panayi

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Marilyn Panayi asked the Naked Scientists:

Which is worse MRSA or Clostridium difficile. What's the difference?

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Marilyn Panayi

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Offline Carol-A

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What is the difference between MRSA and C. difficile?
« Reply #1 on: 15/05/2008 07:10:20 »
Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic bacterium that is resistant to many antibiotics, and can cause serious infections in the gut. It is present in lots of people at low levels, but can multiply and cause disease when people take antibiotics, which wipe out their own gut bacteria, allowing the resistant clostridium to take over. They can be difficult to get rid of, as they make very resistant spores, which are not killed by most disinfectant. It causes serious diarrhea. MRSA stands for Multi-drug (or methicillin or multiple, all are acceptable) Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This often infects wounds and is difficult to treat because of the resistance to most drugs. Both are serious, and both often occur in hospitals where infection from patient to patient is fairly easy, and most people have somewhat weakened immune systems, which allow the infections to get hold.