Clostridium difficile (also known as C.difficile) is a bacteria which is found naturally in some people’s guts, often without causing any problems.
Certain antibiotics and some other treatments can disturb the balance of ‘normal’ bacteria in the gut. When this happens, the C.difficile bacteria can overgrow and lead to illness.
As C.difficile infections are usually caused by antibiotics, they are more likely to occur in hospitals or care homes, with older people most at risk from infection.
C.difficile can spread from person to person through direct contact with infected patients or surfaces such as floors and toilets which are contaminated.