High fecal IgA is associated with reduced Clostridium difficile colonization in infants Academic Article uri icon

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  • Colonization of infants with Clostridium difficile is on the rise. Although better tolerated by infants than adults, it is a risk factor for future allergic disease. The present study describes associations between infant fecal immunoglobulin A (IgA) and colonization with C. difficile in 47 infants enrolled in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) study. C. difficile colonization was observed in over half (53%) of the infants. Median IgA was lower in infants colonized with C. difficile (10.9 μg versus 25.5 μg per g protein; p = 0.18). A smaller proportion of infants with IgA in the highest tertile were colonized with C. difficile compared to the other tertiles (31.3% versus 64.5%, p = 0.03). In unadjusted analysis, odds of colonization with C. difficile was reduced by 75% (OR 0.25 95% CI 0.07, 0.91 p = 0.04) among infants with IgA in the highest tertile compared to those in the other tertiles. Following adjustment for parity, birth mode and breastfeeding, this association was even stronger (aOR 0.17, 95% CI 0.03, 0.94, p = 0.04). Our study provides evidence that high fecal IgA, independent of breastfeeding, is associated with reduced likelihood of C. difficile colonization in infancy.


  • Bridgman, Sarah L
  • Konya, Tedd
  • Azad, Meghan B
  • Guttman, David S
  • Sears, Malcolm R
  • Becker, Allan B
  • Turvey, Stuart E
  • Mandhane, Piush J
  • Subbarao, Padmaja
  • Scott, James A
  • Field, Catherine J
  • Kozyrskyj, Anita L

publication date

  • September 2016