C diff is an anaerobic (i.e, it can not grow in the presence of oxygen), normally occurring gut bacteria that is usually not pathogenic (i.e., does not cause illness). However, if the normal amount of gut bacteria is disturbed or changed, overgrowth of C diff can occur with the development of friable, inflamed colon mucosa and the
development of pseudomembranes in the lumen of the colon: this is the feared complication of C diff colitis or inflammation of the colon.
C diff colitis is most often seen with administration of antibiotics that alter the number and type of flora (naturally occurring bacteria in the colon). Classically, the antibiotic most associated with C diff colitis was clindamycin. However, essentially any antibiotic (even the antibiotics metronidazole and vancomycin that are used to treat this condition) can cause C diff colitis.
Copyright 2006 Insidesurgery.com