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infection (CDI) is the major cause of infective diarrhoea in healthcare environments. As part of the European, multicentre, prospective, biannual, point-prevalence study of infection in hospitalised patients with diarrhoea (EUCLID), the largest epidemiological study of its type, PCR ribotype distribution of isolates in Europe was investigated. PCR ribotyping was performed on 1,196 isolates from diarrhoeal samples sent to the European coordinating laboratory in 2012–13 and 2013 (from two sampling days) by 482 participating hospitals from 19 European countries. A total of 125 ribotypes were identified, of which ribotypes 027 (19%, n =222), 001/072 (11%, n = 134) and 014/020 (10%, n = 119) were the most prevalent. Distinct regional patterns of ribotype distribution were noted. Of 596 isolates from patients with toxin-positive stools (CDI cases), ribotype 027 accounted for 22% (32/144) of infections in cases aged from 18 to less than 65 years, but the prevalence decreased in those aged ≥ 65 years (14% (59/412)) and further decreased in those aged ≥ 81 years (9% (18/195)). The prevalence of ribotype 027 and 176, but not other epidemic strains, was inversely proportional to overall ribotype diversity (R2 = 0.717). This study highlights an increased diversity of ribotypes across Europe compared with previous studies, with considerable intercountry variation in ribotype distribution. Continuous surveillance programmes are necessary to monitor the changing epidemiology of .


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