Clostridium difficile is the primary cause of nosocomial diarrhoea in healthcare centres of the developed world. Only a few antibiotics are available for treatment, and relapses are common in patients undergoing antibiotic therapy. New approaches are required to reduce reliance on antibiotics, the use of which represents a primary risk factor for development of C. difficile infections. Supplementation of the gut flora with probiotics represents a key area for producing more successful treatment options for C. difficile infection (CDI). In this study, spores of B. subtilis have been evaluated as a potential probiotic treatment against CDI. Using a murine model of infection, we demonstrate that oral administration of B. subtilis spores can attenuate the symptoms of infection. We further show that (1) suppression of symptoms was better if spores were administered post infection, and (2) germination of the spore to a vegetative cell may be an integral part of how CDI is suppressed. The results of this study highlight the potential of this bacterium as a probiotic treatment for CDI.
Fems Microbiology Letters – Oxford University Press
Published: Sep 1, 2014
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