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After the first outbreaks of Clostridium difficile PCR ribotype 027 (North American pulsed-field type 1, restriction endonuclease analysis group BI) in the Netherlands in 2005, a national surveillance programme for C. difficile infection (CDI) was started. Furthermore, national guidelines were developed to rapidly recognise type 027 infections and prevent further spread. The mean incidence of CDI measured in 14 hospitals remained stable throughout the years: an incidence of 18 per 10,000 admissions was seen in 2007 and 2008. Between April 2005 and June 2009 a total of 2,788 samples were available for PCR ribotyping. A decrease was seen in the number and incidence of type 027 after the second half of 2006. In the first half of 2009, the percentage of type 027 isolates among all CDI decreased to 3.0%, whereas type 001 increased to 27.5%. Type 014 was present in 9.3% of the isolates and C. difficile type 078 slightly increased to 9.1%. We conclude that currently there is a significant decrease in type 027-associated CDI in the Netherlands.


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