Probiotics prove effective at fighting C diff

A study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology examined whether probiotics can help reduce the likelihood of developing Clostridium difficile infections.

Researchers used six databases and 11 grey literature sources from inception to April 2016 to identify 32 randomized clinical trials. Of the 32 trials, 18 included individual participant data for 6,851 participants, comparing probiotic use to placebo or no treatment.

The study shows probiotics reduced the odds of C. diff in the unadjusted and adjusted model. However, using two or more antibiotics increased the odds of C. diff, whereas age, sex, hospitalization status and high-risk antibiotic exposure did not. Of 18 studies, 14 reported adverse events.

"Moderate quality (i.e., certainty) evidence suggests probiotic prophylaxis may be a useful and safe CDI prevention strategy, particularly among participants taking two or more antibiotics and in hospital settings where the risk of CDI is [greater than or equal to] 5 percent," study authors concluded.

More articles on healthcare quality: 
Viewpoint: Why punishing care providers for admitting errors hurts everyone
Hand hygiene plus hospital cleaning most cost-effective approach for combating C diff
Hospital Quality Institute CEO: The facts about Stanford's patient safety record

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