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Update of Clostridium difficile infection due to PCR ribotype 027 in Europe, 2008.Kuijper, E J; Barbut, F; Brazier, J S; Kleinkauf, N; Eckmanns, T; Lambert, M L; Drudy, D; Fitzpatrick, F; Wiuff, C; Brown, D J; et al. (2008-07-31)Outbreaks of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) with increased severity, high relapse rate and significant mortality have been related to the emergence of a new, hypervirulent C. difficile strain in North America and Europe. This emerging strain is referred to as PCR ribotype 027 (Type 027). Since 2005, individual countries have developed surveillance studies about the spread of type 027.C. difficile Type 027 has been reported in 16 European countries. It has been responsible for outbreaks in Belgium, Germany, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland). It has also been detected in Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Poland and Spain. Three countries experienced imported patients with CDI due to Type 027 who acquired the infection abroad.The antimicrobial resistance pattern is changing, and outbreaks due to clindamycin-resistant ermB positive Type 027 strains have occurred in three European countries. Ongoing epidemiological surveillance of cases of CDI, with periodic characterisation of the strains involved, is required to detect clustering of cases in time and space and to monitor the emergence of new, highly virulent clones.