Three hospital patients have died after contracting a new strain of the bacterial infection Clostridium difficile (C. diff).
Doctors in Scotland have been alerted to the strain, named ribotype 332, which has been reported for the first time by Health Protection Scotland (HPS).
HPS said two patients being cared for at the same hospital died - one in December and the second in January.
A third patient within the same health board area died last month. All were seriously ill with underlying conditions.
HPS did not disclose the hospital locations due to patient confidentiality.