Probiotics for Prevention and Treatment of Clostridium difficile Infection

  • Lorena Valdés-Varela
  • Miguel Gueimonde
  • Patricia Ruas-Madiedo
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1050)


Probiotics have been claimed as a valuable tool to restore the balance in the intestinal microbiota following a dysbiosis caused by, among other factors, antibiotic therapy. This perturbed environment could favor the overgrowth of Clostridium difficile and, in fact, the occurrence of C. difficile-associated infections (CDI) is being increasing in recent years. In spite of the high number of probiotics able to in vitro inhibit the growth and/or toxicity of this pathogen, its application for treatment or prevention of CDI is still scarce since there are not enough well-defined clinical studies supporting efficacy. Only a few strains, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Saccharomyces boulardii have been studied in more extent. The increasing knowledge about the probiotic mechanisms of action against C. difficile, some of them reviewed here, makes promising the application of these live biotherapeutic agents against CDI. Nevertheless, more effort must be paid to standardize the clinical studied conducted to evaluate probiotic products, in combination with antibiotics, in order to select the best candidate for C. difficile infections.


Probiotic C. difficile Clinical study Mechanism of action Antagonism 



The funds supporting this research topic in our group are given by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competiveness (current project AGL2015-64901-R) partially co-funded by FEDER (European Union) grants.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorena Valdés-Varela
    • 1
  • Miguel Gueimonde
    • 1
  • Patricia Ruas-Madiedo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry of Dairy ProductsInstituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IPLA-CSIC)VillaviciosaSpain

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