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World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jun 7;12(21):3306-13.

Antibiotics and probiotics in treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, Bologna, Italy.


Many experimental and clinical observations suggest that intestinal microflora plays a potential role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Manipulation of the luminal content using antibiotics or probiotics represents a potentially effective therapeutic option. The available studies do not support the use of antibiotics in ulcerative colitis (UC). Antibiotics are effective in treating septic complications of Crohn's disease (CD) but their use as a primary therapy is more controversial, although this approach is frequently and successfully adopted in clinical practice. There is evidence that probiotic therapy may be effective in the prevention and treatment of mild to moderate UC. In contrast, a lack of successful study data at present precludes the widespread use of probiotics in the treatment of CD. Both antibiotics and probiotics appear to play a beneficial role in the treatment and prevention of pouchitis and further trials are warranted to fully quantify their clinical efficacy.

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