Astellas Pharma EMEA

Experts Attend European Parliament to Call for Urgent Action to Improve Clostridium Difficile Infection Management in Europe

Brussels (ots/PRNewswire) - Event coincides with the publication in The Lancet Infectious Diseases of

EUCLID - the largest epidemiology study on Clostridium difficile infection[1]

CDI Europe, the European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE) and MEP Karin Kadenbach today hosted an event at the European Parliament to highlight the urgent action needed to address the current issues relating to the management of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Experts from across Europe came together with members of European Parliament to discuss ways to improve current gaps in diagnosis, treatment, control and surveillance.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141202/718276-INFO )

The event follows on from the launch of the CDI in Europe report in April 2013, which was supported by multiple European stakeholders and quoted in the European Parliament Resolution on Patient Safety and HAI.[2] The Resolution calls on Member States and the European Union to do more to address HAIs like CDI.[2] CDI is one of the top ten HAIs in European hospitals[3] and has surpassed MRSA as a leading cause of healthcare-acquired infection in several European countries.[4],[5]

This meeting coincides with The Lancet Infectious Diseases publication of EUCLID, the EUropean, multi-centre, prospective bi-annual point prevalence study of CLostridium difficile Infection in hospitalised patients with Diarrhoea, the largest ever prevalence study of CDI across Europe. This ground breaking study included data from 482 hospitals across 20 European countries; it found there are an estimated 40,000 missed cases of CDI each year.[1] With around 8,000 hospitals in the EU,[6] the true European total of missed CDI cases is likely to be significantly higher.

"Guidelines recommend that testing for CDI should be carried out on all unformed stools when the cause of diarrhoea is not clear. However, we are still seeing an issue with a lack of clinical suspicion and so lack of testing for CDI, and sub-optimal tests still being used", commented Professor Mark Wilcox, Professor of Medical Microbiology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals & University of Leeds. "If we are to address the considerable burden that CDI places on patients and healthcare systems we need urgent action to standardise the diagnosis and management of CDI across Europe."

The EUCLID study results detail markedly higher CDI case rates compared with previous studies.[1],[7] Yet due to a lack of clinical suspicion and sub-optimal testing, on a single day across Europe, an average of 74 in-patients with CDI were not tested by their hospital and an additional 34 patients received a false-negative result for CDI.[1]

Hospitals using optimised methods for CDI laboratory diagnosis increased between the two study periods from 32.5% in 2011-12 to 48% in 2012-13.[1] Notably, hospitals with higher testing rates generally had lower prevalence of PCR-ribotype 027,[1] one of the most virulent ribotypes associated with CDI epidemics.[8] This suggests that increased CDI awareness and using optimal testing methods can reduce the spread of epidemic strains.[1]

The proportion of UK hospitals using optimal laboratory diagnosis was the highest of all countries, in line with national guidelines; consequently, under- and misdiagnosis was relatively uncommon. This serves as an example of how improved monitoring of CDI can help to reduce infection rates. While national surveillance schemes have been associated with reduced incidence of CDI in some countries, this remains a major healthcare burden.[9],[10],[11],[12],[13]

CDI is a recurring and preventable bacterial infection[14] that results in severe, and potentially deadly, diarrhoea.[15],[16] In Europe the incidence and severity of CDI is increasing, posing a major threat to healthcare systems and patients alike.[17],[18],[19],[ 20]

During the European Parliament event, MEP Karin Kadenbach led discussions on the burden of CDI within the policy context of European action on HAIs. Joined by a number of pan-European scientific societies and clinical experts, the group discussed their respective roles in addressing HAIs and explored ways to collaborate to improve the quality of care to patients.

"I was delighted to host this important event. While we have a good understanding of patient safety and HAIs, the importance of addressing these remains under-appreciated in healthcare settings. Member States have made good progress in recent years to adopt patient safety and HAI measures, but the economic crisis has slowed this process and this issue is now lower on governmental agendas", commented Karin Kadenbach, Member of European Parliament. "Given that many HAIs are preventable, the Commission anticipates that infection prevention and control measures should save public health costs, but action needs to be taken now."

About CDI Europe

CDI Europe is an expert-led initiative that aims to promote a better standard of care for patients with CDI in Europe. CDI Europe is funded and supported by Astellas Pharma EMEA.

About EUCLID

The EUropean, multi-centre, prospective bi-annual point prevalence study of CLostridium difficile Infection in hospitalised patients with Diarrhoea (EUCLID) involved 482 hospitals from 20 European countries.[1] The EUCLID study has been coordinated from the University of Leeds, UK, by Professor Mark Wilcox's research group, with support from the EUCLID Core Group. The study was initiated and financially supported by Astellas Pharma EMEA.

About Clostridium difficile Infection

CDI is a serious illness resulting from infection of the internal lining of the colon by C. difficile bacteria. The bacteria produce toxins that cause inflammation of the colon, diarrhoea and, in some cases, death.[21] Patients typically develop CDI after the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics that disrupt normal bowel flora, allowing C. difficile bacteria to flourish.[22] CDI is the leading cause of hospital acquired (nosocomial) diarrhoea in industrialised countries[23] and the risk of CDI and disease recurrence is particularly high in patients aged 65 years and older.[24] Recurrence of CDI occurs in up to 25% of patients within 30 days of initial treatment with current therapies.[25],[26],[ 27] The ESCMID has identified recurrence as being the most important problem in the treatment of CDI.[28]

About Astellas Pharma EMEA

Astellas Pharma EMEA operates in 40 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and is the EMEA regional business of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceuticals. The organisation's focus is to deliver outstanding R&D and marketing to continue growing in the world pharmaceutical market. Astellas presence in Europe also includes an R&D site and three manufacturing plants. The company employs over 4,500 people across the EMEA region. In 2013 Astellas was awarded SCRIP Pharmaceutical Company of the Year in recognition of its commercial success and pipeline development.

References

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  the European, multicentre prospective, biannual, point-prevalence study ofClostridium
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  Infect Dis. 2014;14:1208-19. Available
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  difficile colitis in Quebec, Canada. Clin Infect Dis. 2005;40:1591-7.
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Photo: 
http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141202/718276-INFO
 

Contact:

For further information please contact: Donna Wright, Ruder Finn,
dwright@ruderfinn.co.uk, Tel: +44(0)20-7438-3085 / Mindy Dooa,
Astellas
Pharma EMEA., mindy.dooa@astellas.com, Tel: +44(0)7826-912-339

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