The Cambridge IBS Study

Effects of probiotics on the caecal and faecal microbiota of Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients receiving antibiotics: a pilot study

Aim

This study assessed the effect of Lab4 probiotic supplementation on the composition of the microbiota in IBS sufferers receiving antibiotic therapy.

Method

  • The study was carried out at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
  • 12 IBS sufferers were divided into two groups:
    • Group 1 took a daily placebo from day 1 to day 14 and a combination of antibiotics (ampicillin and metronidazole) from day 8 to day 14.
    • Group 2 took a daily Lab4 probiotic capsule (25 billion) from day 1 to day 14 and a combination of antibiotics (ampicillin and metronidazole) from day 8 to day 14
  • For microbial analysis, the caecum biopsies (tissue) and lumen (inside space) samples were collected on day 0 (start) and day 14 (end of antibiotic therapy). Faecal samples were collected on day 0, 14 and 28 (14 days post antibiotic therapy).

The results

Caecal Biopsy and Caecal Lumen

  • Group 1 (placebo) – significant increases in the detection of yeasts and Candida albicans were recorded at day 14.
  • Group 1 (placebo) – decreases were recorded in the detection of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli at day 14.
  • Group 2 (Lab4 probiotics alongside antibiotics) – detection of yeasts was reduced at day 14 compared with Group 1.
Cambridge IBS Trial Caecal Biopsy
Cambridge IBS Trial Caecal Biopsy
Cambridge IBS Trial Caecal Lumen
Cambridge IBS Trial Caecal Lumen

Faeces:

  • Group 2 (Lab4 probiotics alongside antibiotics) – detection of yeasts was reduced at day 14 compared with Group 1.
  • Group 1 (placebo) – the percentage of IBS sufferers harbouring yeasts at day 28 (14 days after terminating antibiotic treatment) was higher than at day 0.
  • Group 2 (Lab4 probiotics alongside antibiotics) – yeasts were not detected in the faecal samples at day 28.
Cambridge IBS Study Faeces
Cambridge IBS Study Faeces

Conclusion

The supplementation of IBS sufferers with Lab4 probiotics prior to and alongside antibiotics may provide protection against overgrowth by yeasts.

Reference

Plummer S et al 2013.
Effects of probiotics on the caecal and faecal microbiota of Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients receiving antibiotics: a pilot study.
Short Communication. ENGIHR, Valencia, Spain, 18-20th September 2013, pg183-6

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