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Diagnostic Approved to Detect C. diff

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved BD Diagnostics' GeneOhm Cdiff molecular assay, a stool test that rapidly detects infection with Clostridium difficile (C. diff) bacteria.

C. diff infection is commonly acquired in hospitals and nursing homes, especially among patients receiving antibiotics. In the United States, some 500,000 people are infected each year, and more than 28,000 people die from the infection, the test's maker said in a news release. The average hospital stay is nearly three times longer among a person infected with C. diff than a typical patient.

The new test detects the toxin B gene that's found in virtually every strain of the bacterium. The product gives laboratories the option of a single diagnostic that may eliminate the need for numerous screenings and tests, the company said.

More information

To learn more about C. diff, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Posted: January 2009