The Cambridge Probiotic/Antibiotic Trial 1

Effect of probiotics on preventing disruption of the intestinal microflora following antibiotic therapy: A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study

Aim

This randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled study investigated the effect of Lab4 probiotic supplementation on the gut microbiota composition and prevention of pathogenic microorganisms overgrowth in response to antibiotic therapy.

Method

  • The study was carried out at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
  • 22 patients requiring antibiotic therapy were divided into three groups
  • Stool analysis was then conducted over a 28-day period to assess the different populations of bacteria in the gut microbiota.

Results

  1. Total numbers of the facultative anaerobes:
  • significantly increased in the patients on antibiotics and placebo at the end of the antibiotic treatment (*P<0.05) and remained increased post antibiotic therapy (*P<0.05) (Group 1)
  • significantly increased in the patients on antibiotics and placebo at the end of the antibiotic treatment (*P<0.05), but the numbers decreased significantly after introducing Lab4 probiotic supplementation post antibiotic (**P<0.05) (Group 2)
  • remained stable in the patients on antibiotics and Lab4 probiotics throughout the study period (Group 3)
  1. Lab4 supplementation reduced the overgrowth population of coliforms, enterococci and staphylococci in the re-growth microbiota following antibiotic therapy.
Total number of ‘undesirable’ facultative anaerobes

 

Post antibiotic therapy: Total number of faecal coliforms, enterococci and staphylococci (%)

 

Conclusion

The supplementation of Lab4 probiotics alongside antibiotic therapy has been shown to reduce the overgrowth of undesirable and potentially harmful bacteria both during and following antibiotic therapy.

Reference

Madden JAJ et al 2005. Effects of probiotics on preventing disruption of the intestinal microflora following antibiotic therapy: A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study.
 Int Immunopharmacology 5:1091-1097​