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3.3 HEALTH SCIENCES, 3.4 HEALTH BIOTECHNOLOGY
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) established a group to produce national guidelines for Clostridium difficile in Ireland in 2006. A laboratory questionnaire was distributed to determine current C. difficile diagnostic practices. Twenty-nine out of 44 laboratories providing C. difficile diagnostic services to 34 hospitals responded. Twenty-five out of 29 (86%) laboratories processed specimens for C. difficile and four (13.8%) forwarded specimens to another laboratory. Sixteen laboratories (64%) processed specimens for other healthcare facilities. None routinely examined stool for C. difficile, seven (28%) examined specimens only when requested to do so and 18 (72%) used specific selection criteria, including testing all liquid stools (39%), all nosocomial diarrhoea (44%), specific clinical criteria (28%) and history of antibiotic therapy (22%). All tested stool
Drudy, D. et al (2008) Laboratory Diagnosis of Clostridium difficile in the Republic of Ireland: a survey of Irish microbiology laboratories, Journal of Hospital Infection vol. 68,pp.315-321 . doi:10.1016/j.jhin.2008.01.025.