Probiotic Use May Decrease C. difficile Infection


A study found individuals receiving probiotics had a decrease in C. difficile diagnosed in stool samples than those who did not receive probiotics.

A study explored the use of probiotics and the subsequent effect on the development of Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) infection (CDI) in individuals receiving fluoroquinolones.

The results showed that a higher percentage of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use in the non-probiotic group was up 20% in comparison with the group receiving the probiotic. Also, individuals who were on fluoroquinolones that received probiotics had 0% of overall cases of CDI compared to 3% in the non-probiotic group, but this was not statistically significant enough to make a strong conclusion.

However, the second outcome of the study provided more statistically significant results. Individuals who did receive probiotics had fewer C. difficile diagnosed stool samples at 4% compared to the 16% of their non-probiotic counterparts. Additionally, the probiotic group was reported to have 6% fewer additional infectious diagnostic testing performed.

Of the individuals who had experienced adverse effects, vomiting in the non-probiotic group seemed to be significantly higher (9%) than among those who were administered probiotics (2%).

According to the investigators, the results of the study call for further research into the use of probiotics to prevent CDI in high-risk patients. The use of probiotics has been shown to have beneficial effects on the inhibition of the adhesion of C. difficile in the intestine, as well as additional health benefits. The reported symptoms in the study also trended down with the use of probiotics.

The investigators noted in a press release that most individuals who received probiotics were already receiving daily treatments of probiotics prior to the study or started taking them at the same time as the fluoroquinolone therapy. The full treatment and dosing regimens were determined by the treating physician.

The probiotics used were Saccharomyces boudardii and Lactobacillus spp. The study participants were all over the age of 18 and had at least 3 days of intravenous monotherapy, oral levofloxacin, or ciprofloxacin within 3 days of hospital admission.

The data collected by the investigators was based on antibiotic and probiotic administration that included use, timing of first dosage, number of doses, duration, and the use of PPI or histaimine-2 receptor antagonists.


Influence of probiotics on the development of Clostridioides difficile infection in patients receiving fluoroquinolones. MDPI. Case study. August 18, 2021. Accessed September 2, 2021.

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