Dietary-based gut flora modulation against Clostridium difficile onset
Gougoulias, C., Tuohy, K.M. and Gibson, G.R. (2007) Dietary-based gut flora modulation against Clostridium difficile onset. Food Science and Technology Bulletin: Functional Foods, 4 (4). pp. 31-41. ISSN 1476-2137
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Clostridium difficile infection is a frequent complication of antibiotic therapy in hospitalised patients, which today is attracting more attention than ever and has led to its classification as a 'superbug'. Disruption of the composition of the intestinal microflora following antibiotic treatment is an important prerequisite for overgrowth of C. difficile and the subsequent development of an infection. Treatment options for antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and C. difficile-induced colitis include administration of specific antibiotics (e.g. vancomycin), which often leads to high relapse rates. More importantly, both the rate and severity of C. difficile-associated diseases are increasing, with new epidemic strains of C. difficile often implicated. For the prevention and treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and C. difficile infection, several probiotic bacteria such as selected strains of lactobacilli (especially Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG), Bifidobacterium longum, and Enterococcus faecium and the non-pathogenic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii have been used. Controlled trials indicate a benefit of S. boulardii and L. rhamnosus GG as therapeutic agents when used as adjuncts to antibiotics. However, the need for more well designed controlled trials with probiotics is explicit.