Assessment of independent comorbidities and comorbidity measures in predicting healthcare facility-onset Clostridioides difficile infection in Kenya


Clostridioides difficile, a gram positive bacteria is primarily associated with hospital-acquired diarrhoea.

Principle Instigator
Winnie Mutai


Clostridioides difficile is primarily associated with hospital-acquired diarrhoea. The disease burden is aggravated in patients with comorbidities due to increased likelihood of polypharmacy, extended hospital stays and compromised immunity. The study aimed to investigate comorbidity predictors of healthcare facility-onset C. difficile infection (HO-CDI) in hospitalized patients.


We performed a cross sectional study of 333 patients who developed diarrhoea during hospitalization. The patients were tested for CDI. Data on demographics, admission information, medication exposure and comorbidities were collected. The comorbidities were also categorised according to Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) and Elixhauser Comorbidity Index (ECI). Comorbidity predictors of HO-CDI were identified using multiple logistic regression analysis.


Overall, 230/333 (69%) patients had comorbidities, with the highest proportion being in patients aged over 60 years. Among the patients diagnosed with HO-CDI, 63/71(88.7%) reported comorbidities. Pairwise comparison between HO-CDI patients and comparison group revealed significant differences in hypertension, anemia, tuberculosis, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In the multiple logistic regression model significant predictors were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (odds ratio [OR], 9.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8–50.1), diabetes (OR, 3.56; 95% CI, 1.11–11.38), chronic kidney disease (OR, 3.88; 95% CI, 1.57–9.62), anemia (OR, 3.67; 95% CI, 1.61–8.34) and hypertension (OR, 2.47; 95% CI, 1.–6.07). Among the comorbidity scores, CCI score of 2 (OR 6.67; 95% CI, 2.07–21.48), and ECI scores of 1 (OR, 4.07; 95% CI, 1.72–9.65), 2 (OR 2.86; 95% CI, 1.03–7.89), and ≥ 3 (OR, 4.87; 95% CI, 1.40–16.92) were significantly associated with higher odds of developing HO-CDI.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, anemia, diabetes, and hypertension were associated with an increased risk of developing HO-CDI. Besides, ECI proved to be a better predictor for HO-CDI. Therefore, it is imperative that hospitals should capitalize on targeted preventive approaches in patients with these underlying conditions to reduce the risk of developing HO-CDI and limit potential exposure to other patients.