Fourth case of new strain of C difficile in Scotland

Yesterday NHS Fife said that a fourth C difficile sample had tested positive for the new type. Picture: PA
Yesterday NHS Fife said that a fourth C difficile sample had tested positive for the new type. Picture: PA
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A FOURTH case of a new strain of Clostridium difficile has been identified in a patient in Scotland, officials have revealed.

Last month it emerged that three patients had died after contracting C difficle 332.

Yesterday NHS Fife said that a fourth C difficile sample had tested positive for the new type after medics went back and checked previous results.

But the health board, who had initially refused to confirm they were the source of the new strain, said the patient, who was treated in April, had recovered fully and has since been discharged home.

No other cases of C difficile infection with the type 332 have been identified, they added.

Dr Gordon Birnie, medical director for the board’s operational division, said: “A routine laboratory look-back exercise has been undertaken in Fife following identification of the new sub-strain, which has involved the testing of all C difficile samples not already ribotyped.

“Results from this testing show that only one further sample tested positive for the 332 ribotype, bringing the total number of cases in Fife to four.

“This new strain does not change the existing level of risk to the public from C difficile infection and there are no additional precautions or areas of concern.”

Health Protection Scotland (HPS) said no other cases of type 332 had been identified in Scotland.