Large numbers Clostridium difficile were found in the stools of two victims of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). This prompted a study of normal infants in the SIDS age group. Thirty-two infants were studied, using two selective culture techniques and two assays for bacterial products. Thirteen of the normal infants (39%) were found to carry C difficile, and fecal toxins were detected in eight of these, four with cytotoxin detectable at 10-4 or higher dilution. Colonization was observed in one of 13 (7%) breast-fed babies and 12 of 17 (71%) of those whose primary milk source was infant formula (P < .01). Fecal C difficile toxin was detected only in the latter group. The isolation of C difficile or its toxins in the stools of infants with SIDS, diarrhea, or other conditions must thus be interpreted with caution, even if large quantities of fecal cytotoxin are present.

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