Halloween Special: Serving Live Bacteria for Lunch and the not so Spooky Health Benefits

C. difficile creates major problems for hospitals and healthcare settings. From the impact on efficiency due to high-demand nursing care to infection control and added costs of clinical complications, c-diff has not received the attention it deserves. Novel strategies for clinical prevention and treatment are worthy of QI discussion.

The folks over at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City have identified a naturally occurring gut microbe that may help defeat Clostridium difficile infections. The study was recently published in Nature. You can access it here.

The bottom line: clostridium scindens is linked to resistance to C. difficile infections. When you administer (ie eat) Clostridium scindens, resistance to infection is enhanced.

With antibacterial resistance rates increasing and fewer new antibiotics in the research pipeline, shifting to non-antibiotic approaches for the prevention and treatment of nosocomial infections offers promise.

So do something nice for your gut flora this Halloween, skip the candy and eat more probiotic foods such as yogurt, cheese, traditional sauerkraut, olives and capers. The change will be good for you … and for your patients!


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I blog about the intersection of quality management systems, evidence-based clinical practices, and implementation science within hospitals and healthcare organizations.