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Clin Infect Dis. 2008 Feb 1;46 Suppl 2:S62-6; discussion S144-51. doi: 10.1086/523340.

How science will help shape future clinical applications of probiotics.

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Canadian Research and Development Centre for Probiotics, Lawson Health Research Institute, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.


The recent increased interest in probiotics among clinicians has many causes, primarily the concern about the limitations of the current armamentarium of pharmaceutical agents. Although probiotics have been used mostly in dietary supplements and foods to maintain health, scientific and clinical studies are recognizing the potential of some probiotics to be therapeutic in function. Scientific breakthroughs in understanding the source and composition of the human microbiota, the key nutritional factors that influence these microbes, and their immunomodulatory effects; the creation of disease-targeted recombinant strains; the isolation and characterization of signaling molecules that can modulate microbial biofilms and infectious processes; and advances in biomedical engineering that will provide new delivery systems for probiotics will shape the future of clinical applications of probiotics. In time and with rigorous documentation, some probiotics will likely find an important place in medical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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