UKARU and Health Protection Division launch a New Way of Cdifficile Characterisation


The Public Health Wales UK Anaerobe Reference Unit (UKARU) and the Health Protection Division are launching a new method for characterization (typing) of Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile.  This will replace the current method of ribotyping.

The new method uses ‘Next Generation Sequencing’ technology, also termed ‘Whole Genome Sequencing’.  This enables greater discrimination between isolates, including the ability to distinguish between strains of the same ribotype.

The new service will provide health boards with:

  • Results in a clinically useful timeframe
  • Greater discrimination between cases of difficile infection (CDI)
  • Differentiation between recurrence and re-infection

Over time, the service will improve our knowledge of the ecology of CDI, giving us a better understanding of community versus hospital acquired cases, as well as the potential to detect antimicrobial resistance determinants.