C-diff vaccine being tested in Phila.

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January 17, 2014 7:43:44 AM PST
The final trials of a vaccine to protect against the C-difficile bacteria are underway at Temple University Hospital.

C-diff causes dangerous intestinal infections for patients in hospitals and nursing homes.

Finding a solution has become a top national priority.

"It really is a huge issue affecting about half a million patients a year and can have a mortality and kill up to 75,000 patients a year," says Dr. Joseph Rappold of Temple's Department of Surgery.

Dr. Rappold is leading the trials at Temple University Hospital.

"It's so easily spread through simple contact. It's not an airborne spread. It's just a simple hand touch," says Dr. Rappold about what makes this superbug such a threat.

It only takes a few spores, which have the bacteria inside, to cause an illness.

The vaccine, made by Sanofi Pasteur of Swiftwater, Pa., is given in two doses, with time in between. It produces an immune response that neutralizes the effects of C. diff toxins.

The trial, called Cdiffense, is being conducted at close to 100 centers across the U.S.

Temple is still looking for more volunteers. They're looking for anyone planning to have elective surgery with a hospital stay of several days, or anyone who is frequently in the hospital.

For more information call 215-707-7143 or go to www.cdiffense.org.

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