A CDC study, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, finds that more patients are receiving probiotics as part of their inpatient hospital care.
One of the most common bacteria responsible for infections in hospitals is C. difficile. The authors of the study, Dr. Sarah H. Yi, Dr. John Jernigan, and Dr. L. Clifford McDonald, found data suggesting that hospitalized patients diagnosed with C. difficile were more likely to have received probiotics as part of their treatment. Meaning, clinicians may be prescribing probiotics in an attempt to help their patients suffering from C.difficile, often associated with a disrupted or damaged microbiome. Whether probiotics are effective in preserving or restoring a healthy microbiome remains unknown, but the high prevalence of probiotic use among hospitalized patients may indicate a growing belief among clinicians that these agents may be an effective strategy to treat C.difficile.
The authors conclude, benefits of probiotics are still uncertain and more research is needed to better understand these products and provide guidance on their use in hospitals.
For more details and the complete study, please visit the American Journal of Infection Control.