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C Diff Infection – Hypervirulent NAP1 Strain and Fidaxomicin

There are multiple strains of C Diff floating around our hospitals and this one is pretty scary.  “This NAP1 strain has a genetic change that results in literally 16 to 23 times more toxin,” says William Jarvis, MD according to an excellent recent College of American Pathologists article [1].  In the same article, L. Clifford McDonald, MD confirms thatWe’re continuing to see it as the most common single strain in outbreaks in severe cases.”

Luckily, the drug being pursued by Optimer Pharmaceuticals appears it might be able to take combat this strain too.  According to news on Optimers site from March 11, 2009, “…Fidaxomicin produced similar cure rates in patients with the NAP1 strain compared to patients without the hyper-virulent strain.” [2]

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[1] “Glimmers of hope in C. diff testing” article found at: http://www.cap.org/apps/cap.portal?_nfpb=true&cntvwrPtlt_actionOverride=%2Fportlets%2FcontentViewer%2Fshow&_windowLabel=cntvwrPtlt&cntvwrPtlt{actionForm.contentReference}=cap_today%2F0209%2F0209b_glimmers_of_hope.html&_state=maximized&_pageLabel=cntvwr

[2] News from Optimer Pharmaceutical’s site from March 11, 2009:  http://www.optimerpharma.com/news.asp

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