Clostridium difficile (also called C. difficile) are bacteria that can cause swelling and irritation of the large intestine, or colon . This inflammation, known as colitis, can cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
You may get C. difficile colitis if you take antibiotics. C. difficile also can be passed from person to person. The infection is most common in people who are taking antibiotics while in the hospital. It is especially common in older people in hospitals and nursing homes.
Colitis caused by C. difficile can be mild or serious. In rare cases, it can cause death.