Clostridium difficile is an intestinal infection that is more lethal for elderly people. This infects around 3 million Americans every year with people aged 65 years and older, specifically individuals in hospitals or in nursing homes, possessing greater vulnerabilities.
Fidaxomicin, a new drug for clostridium difficile, was tested against vancomycin, a powerful drug often prescribed to treat the said ailment. The study subjected 629 patients to a test and found out that fidaxomicin had a rate of recurrence of clostridium difficile almost 45 percent less than that of vancomycin. Researchers attributed this lower rate of recurrence to the ability of fidaxomicin to target clostridium difficile in the gut with greater precision and accuracy.
Dr. Sherwood Gorbach, a co-author of this study, explained that while vancomycin has the same clinical cure rate as fidaxomicin, it kills more “good” bacteria in the intestine that help protect it from clostridium difficile.
Fidaxomicin is preferred for preventing recurrence of the infection but vancomycin is still the weapon of choice for curing it according to Gorbach.
The Optical Pharmaceuticals-funded study can be found in the New England Journal of Medicine.