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Patients With Sickle Cell Disease may Have Lower Risk for C. Difficile

Findings from a retrospective cohort study conducted at a single hospital suggest that patients with sickle cell disease have a lower — and not higher — risk for Clostridioides difficile infection compared with the hospitalwide patient population, researchers reported in The New England Journal of Medicine.

In introducing their study, Seah H. Lim, MD, PhD, and colleagues from New York Medical College said health care-associated C. difficile infections “might be expected to be more common” in patients with sickle cell disease, and not less common, as the study found.

“Patients with sickle cell disease have defects in immune function; they are frequently hospitalized for painful vaso-occlusive crisis and are often given empirical antibiotic treatment for fever in this setting. They also have intestinal dysbiosis,” they wrote.