Volunteers needed for Memorial Hospital study

Volunteers needed for Memorial Hospital study

PAWTUCKET - Dr. Marguerite Neill, associate director of the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Pathogens at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, is principal investigator of a new clinical study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an investigational vaccine to prevent primary symptomatic Clostridium difficile infection, also known as C.diff.

C.diff is a spore-forming bacterium that causes potentially life-threatening intestinal infection and is the leading cause of health care-associated infections in the country. Neill said taking antibiotics and repeated hospitalizations are risks for acquiring C.diff. Unlike most other HAIs which are declining due to focused control efforts, C.diff has emerged as worldwide concern.

C.diff infection poses the greatest danger for older adults in hospitals or long-term care facilities who take broad-spectrum antibiotics. Neill, along with Drs. Steven Opal, chief of Infectious Disease at Memorial, and Aurora Pop-Vicas, join more than 200 sites across 17 countries in the Cdiffense clinical trial, a Phase III randomized, observer-blind, placebo-controlled study.

To volunteer for the study, people must be age 50 years or older having a planned surgery in the next 60 days with a hospital stay of 72 hours or longer, or had two hospitalizations of at least 72 hours each and antibiotics during the past year.

Eligible participants will need to come to the clinic at least five times and answer very short telephone calls over the next two and a half years. Participants will be reimbursed for time and travel up to $50 per completed visit and for proportional completion of telephone follow up.

For more information, call Liz Coccio at 401-729-2183.