Probiotics: Preventing Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea

Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing (Impact Factor: 0.92). 04/2010; 15(2):160-2. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6155.2010.00231.x
Source: PubMed


Probiotics are live microorganisms that offer a health benefit to the host. Found typically in dietary supplements, probiotics can be safely used in the treatment of acute diarrheal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea. They can be found in milks, yogurt, powders, and pills.
Research has shown that several strains of probiotics are helpful in the prevention and treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. The most commonly studied probiotics are Lactobacillus GG and Saccharomyces boulardii.
By understanding the uses, dosages, and safety of common probiotics, nurses can help educate patients and their families on the benefits of probiotics.

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    ABSTRACT: Probiotics colonize the intestines and exert an antibacterial effect on pathogens. Therefore, probiotics could be used as a preventive agent against lethal infections. To isolate probiotic microorganisms, 116 bacterial strains were isolated from healthy cow's milk and were subjected to Gram-stain, morphology and biochemical analyses, Vitek analysis, and 16S rRNA analysis. One of the strains identified as Bacillus (B.) thuringiensis 87 was found to grow very well at pH 4.0~7.0 and to be resistant to high concentrations of bile salts (0.3~0.9% w/v). B. thuringiensis was susceptible to the antibiotics used in the treatment of bovine mastitis, yet it exhibited an antimicrobial effect against Staphylococcus (S.) aureus 305. Moreover, it protected mice from experimental lethal infections of E. coli O55, Salmonella typhimurium 01D, and S. aureus 305 through a significant induction of interferon-, even at four-week post-administration of B. thuringiensis. Although oral administration of B. thuringiensis 87 did not provide significant protection against these lethal challenges, these results suggest that B. thuringiensis 87 could be a feasible candidate as a probiotic strain.
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