The number of incidences of superbug clostridium difficile (CDI) is on the rise in NHS Ayrshire and Arran, a new report has revealed.

The health authority says there was a rate of 23.2 CDI cases per 100,000 total occupied bed days during October to December 2021.

This compares with a national CDI incidence of 13.3 cases per 100,000.

It’s the second consecutive quarter that NHS Ayrshire and Arran have had a markedly higher incidence than the national average.

There were 32 cases reported by the local board in the fourth quarter (October to December).  Of these, 26 cases (81.3 per cent) were identified as healthcare associated.

This is an incidence of 23.2 CDI cases per 100,000 TOBDs and follows an upwards shift in the quarterly CDI rate since September 2020.

Current or recent use of  antimicrobials (medicines used to prevent and treat infections in humans, animals and plants) is a major risk factor for developing CDI.

Other risk factors for CDI include: Increased age, a previous diagnosis of CDI, prolonged hospital stay, serious underlying diseases, surgical procedures (in particular bowel procedures) Immunosuppression and use of proton pump inhibitors, which reduce the amount of acid made by your stomach.