Probiotics in Clostridium difficile infection: reviewing the need for a multistrain probiotic


Hell M., Bernhofer C. et al




Beneficial Microbes


In the past two years an enormous amount of molecular, genetic, metabolomic and mechanistic data on the host-bacterium interaction, a healthy gut microbiota and a possible role for probiotics in Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has been accumulated. Also, new hypervirulent strains of C. difficile have emerged. Yet, clinical trials in CDI have been less promising than in antibiotic associated diarrhoea in general, with more meta-analysis than primary papers on CDI-clinical-trials. The fact that C. difficile is a spore former, producing at least three different toxins has not yet been incorporated in the rational design of probiotics for (recurrent) CDI. Here we postulate that the plethora of effects of C. difficile and the vast amount of data on the role of commensal gut residents and probiotics point towards a multistrain mixture of probiotics to reduce CDI, but also to limit (nosocomial) transmission and/or endogenous reinfection. On the basis of a retrospective chart review of a series of ten CDI patients where recurrence was expected, all patients on adjunctive probiotic therapy with multistrain cocktail (Ecologic®AAD/OMNiBiOTiC® 10) showed complete clinical resolution. This result, and recent success in faecal transplants in CDI treatment, are supportive for the rational design of multistrain probiotics for CDI.