Une approche globale et intégrative pour mieux comprendre et prévenir les infections associées au C. difficile


Yves Longtin

Institut Lady Davis de recherches médicales de l'Hôpital général juif


Domaine :  maladies infectieuses et immunitaires

Programme chercheurs-boursiers-cliniciens  - Junior 2

Concours 2017-2018

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a disease of the digestive tract that can cause mild abdominal discomfort, but also fulminant diarrhea and sometimes death. This research program aims at improving our understanding of the disease, discover new strategies to improve its treatment, and to develop new ways to prevent it. The program is structured around three components.

The first component of this research program is to improve the diagnosis of patients affected by CDI. CDI is diagnosed by detecting C. difficile in the stool of sick patients using different laboratory tests. However, these tests are not useful to predict whether a patient will recover from the disease or die, or whether the patient will relapse at the end of the treatment. Physicians could benefit from a test that can predict the outcome of the infection, because they could adapt their therapy to improve management.

The second component of this program is to improve the management of patients who carry the bacteria without presenting any symptoms. These patients can infect other patients who can develop CDI. However, physicians are unsure whether these patients who are not sick should be put into quarantine, and whether this could lead to a drop in the number of CDI cases. Furthermore, whether it is possible to prevent these patients from becoming sick is unknown. This component will explore these two important questions.

The third and final component of this program aims to identify ways to improve the surveillance of the spread of this disease in hospitals. The province of Quebec has such program, but there is a need to discover strategies to improve our capacity to compare hospitals between them.

This research program aims ultimately at improving the health of patients in Quebec and abroad.