Probiotics ‘do not prevent superbugs’ in critical care

Probiotics administered to critically ill patients in intensive care units show no benefit in preventing the colonisation of drug-resistant microbes in the intestinal tract, according to US research.

Probiotics – live microorganisms believed to help restore the balance of intestinal bacteria and increase resistance to harmful germs – were given to patients twice daily for up to two weeks.

But they were no more effective than not giving probiotics, according to researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. The pilot study, published in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, followed 70 patients admitted to ICU.

Full reference: Kwon, J. et al. Randomized Controlled Trial to Determine the Impact of Probiotic Administration on Colonization With Multidrug-Resistant Organisms in Critically Ill Patients Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. published online 27th Aug 2015

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