Clostridium difficile pilot study: effects of probiotic supplementation on the incidence of C. difficile diarrhoea Authors Sue Plummer Cultech Ltd., York Chambers, York Street, Swansea, United Kingdom Mark A. Weaver Cultech Ltd., York Chambers, York Street, Swansea, United Kingdom Janine C. Harris Cultech Ltd., York Chambers, York Street, Swansea, United Kingdom Phillipa Dee Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology, Cambridge, United Kingdom John Hunter Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology, Cambridge, United Kingdom Keywords: Clostridium difficile, probiotic, antibiotic-therapy, diarrhoea Abstract Colonic infection with Clostridium difficile, leading to pseudomembranous colitis, is a common complication of antibiotic therapy, especially in elderly patients. It has been suggested that non-pathogenic probiotic bacteria might prevent the development and recurrence of C. difficile infection. This double-blind, placebo-controlled study examines the role of probiotic administration in the prevention of C. difficile-associated diarrhoea (CDAD) in elderly patients receiving antibiotic therapy. Consecutive patients (150) receiving antibiotic therapy were randomised to receive either a probiotic containing both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium or placebo for 20 days. Upon admission to hospital, bowel habit was recorded and a faecal sample taken. Trial probiotic or placebo was taken within 72 h of prescription of antibiotics, and a second stool sample was taken in the event of development of diarrhoea during hospitalisation or after discharge. Of the randomised patients, 138 completed the study, 69 with probiotics in conjunction with antibiotics and 69 with antibiotics alone. On the basis of development of diarrhoea, the incidence of samples positive for C. difficile-associated toxins was 2.9% in the probiotic group compared with 7.25% in the placebo-control group. When samples from all patients were tested (rather than just those developing diarrhoea) 46% of probiotic patients were toxin-positive compared with 78% of the placebo group. [Int Microbiol 2004; 7(1):59–62] Downloads PDF Published 2010-03-03 Issue Vol. 7 No. 1 (2004) Section Research Notes License Submission of a manuscript to International Microbiology implies: that the work described has not been published before, including publication in the World Wide Web (except in the form of an Abstract or as part of a published lecture, review, or thesis); that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; that all the coauthors have agreed to its publication. The corresponding author signs for and accepts responsability for releasing this material and will act on behalf of any and all coauthors regarding the editorial review and publication process.If an article is accepted for publication in International Microbiology, the authors (or other copyright holder) must transfer to the journal the right–not exclusive–to reproduce and distribute the article including reprints, translations, photographic reproductions, microform, electronic form (offline, online) or any other reproductions of similar nature. Nevertheless, all article in International Microbiology will be available on the Internet to any reader at no cost. The journal allows users to freely download, copy, print, distribute, search, and link to the full text of any article, provided the authorship and source of the published article is cited. The copyright owner's consent does not include copying for new works, or resale. In these cases, the specific written permission of International Microbiology must first be obtained.Authors are requested to create a link to the published article on the journal's website. The link must be accompanied by the following text: "The original publication is available on LINK at <http://www.im.microbios.org>. Please use the appropiate URL for the article in LINK. Articles disseminated via LINK are indexed, abstracted, and referenced by many abstracting and information services, bibliographic networks, subscription agencies, library networks, and consortia.