Comparison of a dot immunobinding assay, latex agglutination, and cytotoxin assay for laboratory diagnosis of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea

G. L. Woods, Peter Charles Iwen

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C. diff-CUBE, a dot immunobinding assay (DIA) (Difco Laboratories, Ann Arbor, Mich.) for detection of Clostridium difficile toxin A in stool specimens was compared with latex agglutination (LA) (Marion Laboratories, Kansas City, Mo.) and cytotoxin assay (CTA) for the laboratory diagnosis of C. difficile-associated diarrhea. A total of 200 stool specimens collected from 169 patients with suspected C. difficile diarrhea were tested. Of the 198 specimens evaluated by all three methods, 36 (18%) from 36 patients were positive by one or more of the tests. Twenty-five, 26, and 23 specimens were positive by CTA, DIA, and LA, respectively; 14 were positive by all three methods. Eight specimens yielded nonspecific LA test results; all eight were negative by CTA, and one was positive by DIA. DIA results agreed with CTA results in 183 (92%) cases and with LA results in 175 (88%) cases. CTA and LA results agreed in 179 (90%) cases. Freezing of the specimen did not appear to adversely affect either the DIA or LA test. These preliminary results suggest that C. diff-CUBE may be useful as a rapid screen for the diagnosis of C. difficile-associated diarrhea. However, for optimum laboratory diagnosis, further testing of all stools that are negative by DIA is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-857
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 8 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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