Original Research Paper
PROBIOTICS IN GASTROINTESTINAL INFECTIONS-AN OVERVIEW
Gastrointestinal infections are a major of morbidity and mortality worldwide, particularly in developing countries. The use of probiotics to prevent and treat a variety of diarrhoeal diseases has gained favour in recent years. Probiotics have been studied in a variety of gastrointestinal infections and are an appearing concept. Several placebo-controlled trials indicated that lactobacilli have a suppressive effect on Helicobactor pylori infection. Several placebo-controlled trials showed a reduction in the severity and duration of acute diarrheoa in children by use of Lactobacillus. Controlled trials support the use of Lactobacillus Sacchromyces boulardii for the prevention of acute diarrhoeal diseases (ADD). Studies of probiotics for the prevention of travelers diarrheoa yield conflicting results; and their routine use cannot be recommended in this setting. We will discuss possible mechanisms by which probiotics could have a beneficial impact by enhancing the prevention or treatment of diarrhoeal diseases. However, the overall efficacy of these treatments and mechanisms by which probiotics ameliorate gastrointestinal infections are mostly unknown. Additional clinical trials are indicated to define the role of probiotics further before their wide-spread use can be recommended. This paper will review the recent literature relevant to the mechanism of action and utility of probiotics in the treatment of gastrointestinal infections.
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