C. difficile, un bacille sporulant, est une cause majeure d’infection associée aux soins de santé et peut survivre pendant de longues périodes dans l’environnement inanimé. L’échantillonnage environnemental pour détecter C. difficile n’est pas systématique, mais peut être entrepris dans le cadre de la gestion des éclosions et des projets de recherche. Nous avons effectué une recherche documentaire entre 1980 et 2018 pour examiner les méthodes de détection de ce pathogène dans l’environnement.
Clostridioides difficile, a spore-forming bacillus, is a major cause of healthcare-associated infection, and can survive for prolonged periods in the inanimate environment. Environmental sampling to detect C. difficile is not routine but may be undertaken as part of outbreak management and during research projects. We conducted a literature search between 1980 and 2018 to review methods for the detection of this pathogen in the environment. There are many acceptable sampling methods used for environmental screening including contact plates, cotton swabs, flocked swabs and sponges. Most recent studies suggest that sponges are the most effective method of sampling and have the added benefit of being capable of sampling larger and curved areas. Culture methods are the most common laboratory method of detecting C. difficile from environmental samples. However, the results are variable depending on the type of agar used and the turnaround time can be long. Molecular methods such as real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), although more commonly used to detect C. difficile from faecal specimens, has been used with varying degrees of success in environmental sampling. Further studies are needed to determine if molecular techniques could offer a more reliable, faster method of environmental sampling, giving infection prevention and control teams more reassurance that patients are being placed in adequately decontaminated hospital environments.