Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is one of the most common healthcare-associated infections, with 172 000 cases annually, many of them in the elderly, in Europe alone. Symptoms include diarrhoea and abdominal pain, and it can prove fatal. Despite its immense impact on patients and healthcare systems, researchers lack a good understanding of the epidemiology and clinical impact of CDI across Europe. The goal of the COMBACTE-CDI project is to change that, by delivering extensive data on the extent and impact of CDI across all healthcare sectors in Europe. This information is essential for the development of better methods to prevent and treat CDI.
A large part of the project is devoted to a large epidemiology study which will quantify the burden of CDI (including incidence, distribution, recurrence, mortality, and transmission) across the whole healthcare economy. The project will also assess current practices on the management of CDI in Europe (including guidelines, testing, surveillance, treatment, and costs) and their potential impacts. Finally, the project will create a pan-European research platform capable of supporting future proof-of-concept and clinical studies of new prevention and treatment strategies for CDI.
In the long term, the knowledge generated by COMBACTE-CDI will aid the development of better strategies to prevent and treat this deadly infection.