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Effectiveness of Probiotic for Primary Prevention of Clostridium difficile Infection: A Single-Center Before-and-After Quality Improvement Intervention at a Tertiary-Care Medical Center. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2018 Jul;39(7):765-770



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85046035670   9 Citations


OBJECTIVETo evaluate probiotics for the primary prevention of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) among hospital inpatients.DESIGNA before-and-after quality improvement intervention comparing 12-month baseline and intervention periods.SETTINGA 694-bed teaching hospital.INTERVENTIONWe administered a multispecies probiotic comprising L. acidophilus (CL1285), L. casei (LBC80R), and L. rhamnosus (CLR2) to eligible antibiotic recipients within 12 hours of initial antibiotic receipt through 5 days after final dose. We excluded (1) all patients on neonatal, pediatric and oncology wards; (2) all individuals receiving perioperative prophylactic antibiotic recipients; (3) all those restricted from oral intake; and (4) those with pancreatitis, leukopenia, or posttransplant. We defined CDI by symptoms plus C. difficile toxin detection by polymerase chain reaction. Our primary outcome was hospital-onset CDI incidence on eligible hospital units, analyzed using segmented regression.RESULTSThe study included 251 CDI episodes among 360,016 patient days during the baseline and intervention periods, and the incidence rate was 7.0 per 10,000 patient days. The incidence rate was similar during baseline and intervention periods (6.9 vs 7.0 per 10,000 patient days; P=.95). However, compared to the first 6 months of the intervention, we detected a significant decrease in CDI during the final 6 months (incidence rate ratio, 0.6; 95% confidence interval, 0.4-0.9; P=.009). Testing intensity remained stable between the baseline and intervention periods: 19% versus 20% of stools tested were C. difficile positive by PCR, respectively. From medical record reviews, only 26% of eligible patients received a probiotic per the protocol.CONCLUSIONSDespite poor adherence to the protocol, there was a reduction in the incidence of CDI during the intervention, which was delayed ~6 months after introducing probiotic for primary prevention.Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2018;765-770.

Author List

Trick WE, Sokalski SJ, Johnson S, Bunnell KL, Levato J, Ray MJ, Weinstein RA


Kristen B. Bresnehan PharmD Assistant Professor in the School of Pharmacy Administration department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Case-Control Studies
Clostridium Infections
Cross Infection
Hospitals, Teaching
Primary Prevention
Quality Improvement
Tertiary Care Centers