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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2002 Nov;20(5):313-9.

The place of probiotics in human intestinal infections.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Pathology and Immunology, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, SE-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden.


A number of studies have been carried out on the effect of several probiotic species on treatment and prevention of intestinal infections. The most commonly used microorganisms are lactic-acid producing bacteria such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria belonging to the human normal microflora. In vitro and animal studies have shown that probiotic microorganisms interfere with the colonisation of Helicobacter pylori and of enteropathogenic microorganisms. In humans the significance is more uncertain. Clinically significant benefits of probiotics have been demonstrated in the treatment of rotavirus induced diarrhoea and of Saccharomyces boulardii in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD). In patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, several probiotic strains have been shown to be as effective as traditional medication in preventing relapses. Standardised and well performed studies are needed to elucidate further the mechanisms of action and the clinical significance of probiotics.

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