Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is a leading cause of antimicrobial-associated colitis and is a global clinical concern. Probiotics are considered a CDI-preventive measure; however, highly inconsistent data have been previously reported. Thus, we evaluated the CDI-preventive effect of prescribed probiotics in high-risk older patients receiving antibiotics.
Older patients (aged ≥65 years) admitted to the emergency department who received antibiotics between 2014 and 2017 were enrolled in this single-center retrospective cohort study. Propensity score-matched analysis was used to compare the CDI incidence in patients who took the prescribed probiotics within 2 days of receiving antibiotics for at least 7 days with those who did not. The rates of severe CDI and associated hospital mortality were also evaluated.
Among 6148 eligible patients, 221 were included in the prescribed probiotic group. A propensity score-matched (221 matched pairs) well-balanced for patient characteristics was obtained. The incidence of primary nosocomial CDI did not differ significantly between the prescribed and non-prescribed probiotic groups (0% [0/221] vs. 1.0% [2/221], p = 0.156). Of the 6148 eligible patients, 0.5% (30/6148) developed CDI, with a severe CDI rate of 33.3% (10/30). Furthermore, no CDI-associated in-hospital mortality was observed in the study cohort.
The evidence from this study does not support recommendations for the routine use of prescribed probiotics to prevent primary CDI in older patients receiving antibiotics in situations where the CDI is infrequent.
Abbreviations:CDI (Clostridioides difficile infection), CI (confidence interval), GDH (glutamate dehydrogenase), IDSA (Infectious Diseases Society of America), SHEA (Society for Health Epidemiology of America), IQR (interquartile range), PPI (proton pump inhibitor)
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Published online: May 23, 2023
Accepted: May 2, 2023
Received in revised form: March 29, 2023
Received: January 7, 2023
Publication stageIn Press Corrected Proof
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