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Probiotics have a long history of use in humans. Defined as "live organisms that confer a health benefit on the host when administered in adequate amounts", the spectrum of use of probiotics in humans ranges from foods and dietary supplements to pharmaceutical/nutraceutical products to affect general health and disease. While the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the two most common probiotics associated with consumer products, there exist other organisms (eg, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, some non-pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli and Bacillus species) that are used as probiotics.1–3 One of them is the probiotic strain B. clausii that has been found to be effective for the treatment of diarrhoea and antibiotic-associated gastrointestinal side effects.4–6
Stephen Padilla, 06 Dec 2016
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Treatment with rifaximin appears to effectively prevent spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in patients with cirrhosis and ascites compared with systemically absorbed antibiotics and placebo, a study has found.

Timing of probiotic administration modifies CDI risk in hospitalized patients

23 Feb 2017

The risk of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in hospitalized patients may be halved by a strategy of administering probiotics within 2 days of antibiotic initiation, according to the results of a systematic review.

Researchers searched databases for trials examining the association between probiotic use and CDI in hospitalized adult patients receiving antibiotics. CDI incidence and adverse events were the primary and secondary outcomes of interest, respectively. The bias risk and overall evidence quality, as well as the effects of probiotic species, dose, timing, formulation and duration were also assessed.

The pooled data from 19 studies involving 6,261 patients showed that the group of those who received probiotics (n=3,277) had a lower CDI incidence compared with the control group (n=2,984; 1.6 vs 3.9 percent; p<0.001). Probiotic use was associated with a 58-percent reduction in the risk of CDI (relative risk [RR], 0.42; 95 percent CI, 0.30 to 0.57; I2=0.0 percent).

The CDI risk-lowering effect was significantly greater when probiotics were given within 2 days of antibiotic initiation (RR, 0.32; 0.22 to 0.48; I2=0 percent) than when given at a later time (RR, 0.70; 0.40 to 1.23; I2=0 percent; p=0.02). There was an observed decrement in efficacy for each day of delay in administering probiotics (p=0.04).  

Probiotics did not appear to increase the risk of adverse events, and the overall quality of the evidence was high.

Comprising live or live-attenuated microorganisms that provide a health benefit to the host, probiotics act against C. difficile by potentially suppressing germination, colonization and adhesion of bacterial spores or vegetative cells and by inhibiting its toxins. Probiotics also helps stimulate immune function, enhance barrier function and prevent epithelial cell apoptosis. [Chen X, et al. Mechanisms of action and applications of probiotics for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection. In: Méndez-Vilas A, ed. Microbial pathogens and strategies for combating them: science, technology and education. Formatex Research Center: 2013]

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Most Read Articles
01 Aug 2017
New drug applications approved by US FDA as of 1 - 15 June 2017 which includes New Molecular Entities (NMEs) and new biologics. It does not include Tentative Approvals. Supplemental approvals may have occurred since the original approval date.
16 Mar 2017
Probiotics have a long history of use in humans. Defined as "live organisms that confer a health benefit on the host when administered in adequate amounts", the spectrum of use of probiotics in humans ranges from foods and dietary supplements to pharmaceutical/nutraceutical products to affect general health and disease. While the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the two most common probiotics associated with consumer products, there exist other organisms (eg, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, some non-pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli and Bacillus species) that are used as probiotics.1–3 One of them is the probiotic strain B. clausii that has been found to be effective for the treatment of diarrhoea and antibiotic-associated gastrointestinal side effects.4–6
Stephen Padilla, 06 Dec 2016
Dengvaxia, a recombinant, live-attenuated dengue vaccine, has the potential to bring down the number of hospitalizations by 13 to 25 percent and be cost-effective in areas of moderate-to-high dengue endemicity, according to a model comparison study.
06 Nov 2017
Treatment with rifaximin appears to effectively prevent spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in patients with cirrhosis and ascites compared with systemically absorbed antibiotics and placebo, a study has found.