Clostridium difficile bacteria are found in the digestive system of about 1 in every 30 healthy adults. The bacteria often live harmlessly because the other bacteria normally found in the bowel keep it under control. However, some antibiotics can interfere with the balance of bacteria in the bowel, which can cause the Clostridium difficile bacteria to multiply and produce toxins that make the person ill. When this happens, Clostridium difficile can spread easily to other people because the bacteria are passed out of the body in the person’s diarrhoea. Once out of the body, the bacteria turn into resistant cells called spores. These can survive for long periods on hands, surfaces (such as toilets), objects and clothing unless they’re thoroughly cleaned, and can infect someone else if they get into their mouth. Someone with a Clostridium difficile infection is generally considered to be infectious until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have cleared up.