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The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday cleared a test made by Cepheid that is aimed at detecting the toxin associated with Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that can cause diarrhea and dangerous inflammation of the colon.

Clostridium difficile, or C. difficile, bacteria are found in the stool of an infected person. Others can become infected if they touch items or surfaces contaminated with the bacteria or spores and then touch their mouth.

The Cepheid Xpert C. difficile/Epi test detects the toxin gene sequences associated with the bacterium. The test works on the company's GeneXpert Dx System.

Shares of Cepheid, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., rose 15 cents to $29.25 in late trading Friday.

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