Clostridioides difficile is the most common cause of healthcare-associated diarrhoea worldwide and C. difficile infection is an emerging infectious disease. In the US, its rates are monitored trough an active surveillance system, but many European Union member states still lack this, and in Italy no epidemiological data on C. difficile infection are available except for a few single-centre data.
To provide data on the C. difficile infection incidence in Sicily (the biggest and 5th most populous region of Italy) during a 10-year period.
We revised all the regional standardized discharge forms between 2009 and June 2019 using the code ICD-9 00845 of the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision Clinical Modification, which refers to C. difficile infection with or without complications.
1139 cases of CDI were identified. 97% were adults with a median age of 73.2 years and a male-to-female ratio of 1:1.4. Female patients were older than males and patients who died were older than patients who did not. The main comorbidities were renal disease, diabetes, pneumonia and hypertension. There were 65 reporting hospitals and 86% of cases were provided by level III and II hospitals. Between 2009 and 2019, the incidence increased 40-fold. 81.5% of cases were reported in Medicine Units, Infectious Diseases Units and long-term care facilities. The mean length of stay was 20 days. Mean case fatality rate was 8.3% over the 10-year period.
Clostridioides difficile infection is a dramatically increasing condition in Sicily. A high-quality surveillance system and shared diagnostic protocols are needed.

© 2021. The Author(s).