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Surgeons report progress against dangerous hospital infection

ABC News, October 5, 2012

There has never been any medical treatment available to prevent Clostridium difficile. But in findings presented Thursday at the 2012 Annual American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in Chicago, surgeons report success using a medicine called intestinal alkaline phosphate (IAP) to prevent C. difficile infections in tests on mice. "According to the CDC, C. difficile is linked to about 14,000 U.S. deaths every year," says Dr. Richard Hodin, a surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital and the principal investigator of the study. In the study, Hodin and colleagues found that giving IAP to mice on antibiotics resulted in a 10-fold decrease in C. difficile bacteria in their stool, as well as a 10-fold decrease in in inflammatory marker called IL-1.