The association between gaba-modulators and clostridium difficile infection - A matched retrospective case-control study

Jonathan Ström, Johan Tham, Fredrik Månsson, Jonas Ahl, Tor C. Savidge, Sara M. Dann, Fredrik Resman

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3 Scopus citations


Objective Recently, metabolomics studies have suggested that the neurotransmitter ã-amino butyric acid (GABA) may modulate C. difficile infection (CDI) pathogenesis. In the present study, we investigated the association between GABA-modulating pharmaceuticals and CDI development. Methods In July-December 2013, we performed a matched, retrospective case-control study in Skåne county, Sweden, to assess the association between the use of GABA-modulators (defined as regular use of at least one of the following: zolpidem, zopiclone, benzodiazepines, gabapentin, pregabalin or baclofen) and CDI. Multivariate regression models, adjusted for known risk factors for CDI, were fitted to assess the associations and a propensity score-adjusted analysis was performed. Results The study included 292 cases and 292 matched controls. In a multivariate regression model only recent antibiotic use (clindamycin, cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones) and nursing home residency was significantly associated with CDI. The regular use of any GABA-modulator was not associated with CDI (OR = 1.07, 95%CI 0.69-1.66, p = 0.76). The association between regular use of the selective GABA-agonist zolpidem and CDI trended towards significance (OR = 2.31, 95%CI 0.91-5.86, p = 0.078). These associations remained when only cases treated with antibiotics were included. Corresponding findings for zolpidem was observed in a propensity-score adjusted analysis (OR = 2.52, 95% CI 0.91-6.97, p = 0.075). Severe initial CDI was significantly associated with CDI recurrence (OR = 3.77, 95% CU 1.20-11.86, p = 0.023). Conclusion This study did not identify a general association between GABA-modulators and CDI. A trend towards a significant association between zolpidem and CDI was observed, an association that should be re-assessed in a study appropriately powered for this particular hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0169386
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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