The Cambridge Clostridium difficile Study

Clostridium difficile pilot study: effects of probiotic supplementation on the incidence of C. difficile diarrhoea

SUMMARY

This double-blind, placebo-controlled study examines the role of probiotic administration in the prevention of C. difficile-associated diarrhoea (CDAD) in elderly patients receiving antibiotic therapy.​
Results showed that Lab4 probiotics reduced the incidence of Clostridium difficile diarrhoea in these patients.​
46% of patients supplemented with Lab4 probiotics were positive for Clostridium difficile toxin compared to 78% of patients in the placebo group

Aim

This randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study was designed to provide evidence that supplementing with Lab4 probiotics while taking antibiotics can prevent the incidence of antibiotic associated C. difficile diarrhoea (CDAD).

Method

The trial took place at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, UK and involved 138 elderly patients requiring antibiotic therapy – xx in the probiotics group and xx in the placebo group. Measurements included both bowel habit assessment and faecal sample analysis.

Results

The patient group given Lab4 probiotics (Group 2) experienced a lower incidence of Clostridium difficile diarrhoea compared to the placebo (Group 1).

This effect was due to a reduction in the presence of the Clostridium difficile toxin in Group 2.

Conclusion

Supplementation with Lab4 probiotics can reduce the incidence of C. difficile diarrhoea in hospitalised patients.

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