For Immediate Release:

October 19, 2011

London Health Sciences Centre C. difficile outbreak resolved

New molecular testing will speed detection and reduce spread


LONDON, Ontario - The C.difficile outbreak declared on Sept. 28, 2011 on the 8th Floor inpatient unit at University Hospital is now over, and new processes will soon be in place to help reduce recurrences.

To help in the identification and management of patients who show symptoms of C.difficile disease, such as diarrhea or abdominal pain, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) will be introducing molecular testing to the laboratory.

“We are currently in the validation phase of the new product kits and expect to be using this methodology within the next few weeks,” says Dr. Michael John, Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control.

This new method will provide quicker results, confirming the disease within two to three hours, compared to the one to three days sometimes required using traditional lab testing.

“Quicker identification of C.difficile in symptomatic patients will ensure they are placed on special precautions earlier, thus reducing spread to other patients,” says Dr. John.

Preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases is a top priority in the safe health care for our patients and the community.


About London Health Sciences Centre

London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 135 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 50 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit 


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For media inquiries contact:                                                               

Bärbel Hatje, Communications Consultant

Corporate Communications and Public Relations

London Health Sciences Centre

519-685-8500, ext. 75947