Probiotics reduce Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection

Earlier studies found that probiotics reduce the chances of developing the bacterial infection Clostridium difficile (C. diff) while taking antibiotics, but few studies have tested probiotics with antibiotics during an initial C. diff infection. C. diff is the most common hospital-acquired infection, and is also common during courses of broad-spectrum or long-term antibiotics, particularly in older adults.

In this study, 33 people with an initial mild to moderate C. diff infection took a standard antibiotic treatment with or without 17 billion total colony-forming units of the probiotics L. acidophilus and paracasei, and B. bacterium lactis.

After 28 days, those taking probiotics saw symptoms ease 24 hours sooner than placebo. Discussing the findings, doctors said even a small decrease in the length of infection can have a large benefit in the cost of care and can improve the quality of life.


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