Swabbing Information

C difficile

Clostridium difficile, also known as C. difficile or C. diff is a bacterium that can infect the bowel and cause diarrhoea. The infection most commonly affects people who have recently been treated with antibiotics, but can easily spread to others. C. difficile infections are unpleasant and can sometimes cause serious bowel problems. Many C. difficile infections used to occur in places where many people take antibiotics and are in close contact with each other, such as hospitals and care homes. However strict infection control measures have helped reduce the risk, and an increasing number of C. difficile infections now occur outside these settings.

E coli

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a type of bacteria common in human and animal intestines, and forms part of the normal gut flora (the bacteria that exists in the bowel). There are many different types of E. Coli and, while the majority are harmless, some can cause serious food poisoning and infection. Symptoms of intestinal infection include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and fever. More severe cases can lead to dehydration or even kidney failure. People with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, young children, and older adults are at increased risk of developing these complications. E. coli can be spread when an infected person doesn’t wash their hands properly after using the toilet. The bacteria are then spread when that person touches someone or something else, such as food. Health care centres, schools, and child care facilities are particularly vulnerable to person to person cross contamination.


Enterobacteria are bacteria from the family Enterobacteriaceae, which are primarily known for their ability to cause intestinal upset. Enterobacteria are responsible for a variety of human illnesses, including urinary tract infections, wound infections, gastroenteritis, meningitis, septicaemia, and pneumonia. Some are true intestinal pathogens: , whereas others are merely opportunistic pests which attack weakened victims. Most enterobacteria reside normally in the large intestine, but others are introduced in contaminated or improperly prepared foods or beverages. Several enterobacterial diseases are spread by faecal -oral transmission and are associated with poor hygiene practices. Enterobacterial gastroenteritis can cause extensive fluid loss through vomiting and diarrhoea, leading to dehydration.