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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2009 Mar;33 Suppl 1:S51-6. doi: 10.1016/S0924-8579(09)70018-4.

Alternative strategies for Clostridium difficile infection.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Leiden University Medical Center, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.


Although antibiotics are generally effective in achieving symptomatic recovery from Clostridium difficile infection, the disease frequently relapses, partly because antibiotics not only kill C. difficile, but also disrupt colonisation resistance of the gut microflora. Non-antibiotic strategies for the prevention and treatment of the infection include probiotics, deliberate colonisation by non-toxigenic C. difficile strains, toxin-binding agents, active immunisation, passive immunotherapy with intravenous immunoglobulin, monoclonal antibodies or bovine anti-C. difficile whey concentrate, and faecal transplantation. None of these alternative therapies has proven benefit in therapy or prevention, and prospective randomised trials are urgently needed.

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