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Trial in NHS hospitals will assess probiotics as deterrent for C. diff

A coalition of five NHS hospitals is to assess whether probiotics can be used as a deterrent against Clostridium difficile infections and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.

The three-year, £1.2m PLACIDE trial is a collaboration between Swansea University’s School of Medicine, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust and the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.

Other medical research has suggested that probiotic supplements can suppress negative effects of antibiotics

These include antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD) and potentially fatal Clostridium difficile diarrhoea.

A third of people aged over 65 require antibiotics and the negative effects are caused when the medication kills naturally-occurring healthy bacteria, allowing C. diff to overgrow.

Hospitals involved in the study are Singleton Hospital and Morriston Hospital in South Wales and Darlington Memorial Hospital, University Hospital of North Durham and Bishop Auckland General Hospital in County Durham.

Lead researcher Dr Stephen Allen of Swansea University, said: ‘Our findings should help doctors working throughout the NHS to decide whether or not probiotics should be used to combat diarrhoea in those receiving antibiotics.’

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