Reference Work Entry

Prebiotics and Probiotics Science and Technology

pp 845-899

Probiotics for Infectious Diarrhea and Traveler’s Diarrhea – What Do We Really Know?

  • Patricia L. HibberdAffiliated withDepts. of Public Health and Family Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine


Worldwide, diarrhea is the sixth leading cause of premature death (Lopez et al., 2006), accounting for more than two million deaths each year. The majority of the burden is borne in lower and middle income countries, and in children under age 5 (Kosek et al., 2003). Even in the United States where there is easy access to “safe” food and water, there are an estimated 211–375 million episodes of acute diarrhea each year, resulting in 900,000 hospitalizations and 6,000 deaths (Herikstad et al., 2002; Mead et al., 1999). While mortality from diarrhea has decreased over the last 30 years, the incidence and morbidity associated with diarrhea has not improved (Kosek et al., 2003). During the same time period an ever increasing number of enteric pathogens as well as non-infectious conditions have been recognized as causes of acute diarrhea (Guerrant et al., 2001).


Prevention of infectious diarrhea in children Prevention of infectious diarrhea in daycare centers Prevention of traveler’s diarrhea Treatment of acute infectious diarrhea Treatment of rotavirus diarrhea Probiotic safety in prevention of infectious diarrhea Probiotic safety in treatment of infectious diarrhea