Regional differences in temporal incidence of Clostridium difficile infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Jeffery Ho, Sunny H. Wong, Vijaya C. Doddangoudar, Maureen V. Boost, Gary Tse, Margaret Ip

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous decades have witnessed a change in the epidemiology of Clostridium difficile infections. This study aimed to determine temporal trends in the incidence of C difficile infection across geographic regions. Methods: An initial search of the relevant literature was conducted from date inception to October 2018 without language restriction. We estimated the pooled incidences using logit transformation, weighted by inverse variance. The Joinpoint Regression Analysis Program was used to explore its temporal trend. Results: Globally, the estimated incidence of C difficile infection increased from 6.60 per 10,000 patient-days in 1997 to 13.8 per 10,000 patient-days in 2004. Thereafter, a significant downward trend was observed, at –8.75% annually until 2015. From 2005 to 2015, the incidences in most European countries decreased at a rate between 1.97% and 4.11% per annum, except in France, where an increasing incidence was observed (β = 0.16; P <.001). The incidences have stabilized in North America over the same period; however, in Asia, the incidence increased significantly from 2006 to 2014 (annualized percentage change = 14.4%; P <.001). The increase was greatest in Western Asian countries, including Turkey and Israel (β > 0.10; P <.004). Conclusions: This study revealed rapid changes in the incidence of C difficile infection. This meta-analysis should inform the allocation of resources for controlling C difficile infection and future surveillance efforts in countries where epidemiologic information on C difficile infection remains sparse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteria
  • Epidemiology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Secular trend


Dive into the research topics of 'Regional differences in temporal incidence of Clostridium difficile infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this