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Background: Recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is associated with significant morbidity, mortality and healthcare related costs. Up to 30% of CDI cases recur, resulting in 83,000 cases of recurrent CDI per year. Although agents for primary and secondary prophylaxis for CDI including the use of probiotics, antibiotics, fecal microbiota transplantations, and newer therapies such as bezlotoxumab have been reported, there is no consensus guidelines regarding their use. The purpose of this study was to assess physician practices regarding secondary prophylaxis for CDI.

Methods: This cross-sectional study using Qualtrics electronic survey (24 questions) assessed physician practice preferences. The survey was distributed through institutional emails and through the Infectious Disease Society of America “IDea Exchange” forum. Responses were collected and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: A total of 246 surveys were completed. Physicians were surveyed from greater than 100 locations (see Figure 1). Most (229, 93%) of the physicians practiced in an inpatient setting. Respondent specialties were primarily infectious diseases (138, 56%) followed by internal medicine (72, 29%). Most physicians (173, 71%) use secondary prophylaxis for CDI prevention (see Figure 2). Vancomycin (121, 70%) and probiotics (114, 66%) were most commonly used for CDI secondary prophylaxis, (see Figure 3). Of 164 physicians who used secondary prophylaxis half of them (89, 54.2%), used prophylaxis only for patients with a history of recurrent CDI receiving antibiotics and about a third, (49, 29.9%) utilized it for patients with a history of CDI who were receiving antibiotics. ID physicians were more likely to prescribe secondary prophylaxis as compared with non-ID physicians (85% of 127 respondents vs. 75% of 85 respondents, P = 0.052). The use of secondary prophylaxis was similar among private practice and academic physicians (84% of 39 vs. 80% of 157 respondents, P = 0.591). Conclusion: The majority of the physicians who responded to this survey use secondary prophylaxis to prevent recurrent CDI, hence future CDI guidelines need to address the role of secondary prophylaxis in clinical practice.

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Open Forum Infectious Diseases, v. 5, issue suppl_1, p. S183-S184