A Spore‐Forming Probiotic Supplement Improves the Intestinal Immune Response and Protects the Intestinal Health During Recurrent Clostridioides difficile Colonization in Mice
The full text of the study can be found here
The Problem with C. diff
Clostridioides difficile, formerly known as Clostridium difficile and commonly referred to as C. diff, is a pathogenic bacteria that can infiltrate the human gut, causing
loss of appetite.¹
C. diff is an opportunistic pathogen, meaning that it can take over the gut when other healthy commensal gut bacteria are depleted.¹ For this reason, C. diff infection is common after patients take broad-spectrum antibiotics. While antibiotics can kill off other infectious microbes, they also take a toll on our healthy gut bacteria, causing dysbiosis and impairing gut immune function. This creates the perfect storm for C. diff infection, particularly among the elderly populations. In fact, C. diff is the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections since antibiotic therapies and compromised immune function are so prevalent in these settings.²
Recurrent C. diff Infection is a huge risk for hospital patients
C. diff is often treated with antibiotics, leading to a vicious, downward spiral of recurrent C. diff infections. Researchers speculate that improving the gut microbiome with probiotics can improve health outcomes in the most vulnerable populations. Indeed, probiotic therapies are rapidly gaining popularity as a standard protocol for those suffering from C. diff and other hospital-acquired infections.³
Can probiotics improve health outcomes in C. diff sufferers?
Among the numerous probiotics, Bacillus spore-based probiotics stand out as an attractive treatment option. These are highly resilient probiotics that are capable of withstanding
low stomach acid,
extreme temperatures, and
meaning that they arrive in the colon fully intact.
In this study, researchers at Cleveland Clinic used the probiotic MegaSporeBiotic, which is a unique blend of Bacillus species, including B. licheniformis SL-307, B. indicus HU36, B. subtilis HU58, B. clausii SC-109, and B. coagulans SC-208. According to current research, these strains are shown to compete with C. diff for vital nutrients such as iron, neutralize C. diff toxins, and boost gut immune function.⁴⁻⁶
C. diff Study Summary:
Using a murine model, researchers at Cleveland Clinic investigated the impact of MegaSporeBiotic on GI health in C. diff sufferers. Female mice were inoculated with C. diff and then randomly assigned to receive either saline or MegaSporeBiotic.⁷ Mice were then treated with the antibiotic vancomycin for 10 days and re-inoculated with C. diff at day 5 of antibiotic treatment.⁷ After antibiotic treatment was complete, blood samples and intestinal contents were collected for analysis. Results indicated that MegaSporeBiotic supplementation reversed the unwanted changes in cecum weight induced by the antibiotics and balanced the immune response within the gut. A stark reduction in cecum weight following antibiotics has been associated with the broad-spectrum depletion of the microbiome. Reversing this reduction indicates that supplementation with MegaSporeBiotic can help to repopulate the gut microbiome following antibiotic-induced decimation. Furthermore, MegaSporeBiotic supplementation competitively excludes C. diff by utilizing available iron, reduces the expression of inflammatory biomarkers like TNF-α and calprotectin, and increases the expression of tight junction proteins necessary for healthy gut barrier function. This groundbreaking research highlights the role of these unique spore strains in reconditioning the gut microbiome, improving intestinal immunity, and reducing gut inflammation following C. diff infections and broad-spectrum antibiotic use.⁷
These results demonstrate that the unique spore strains in MegaSporeBiotic have a powerful protective effect in the fight to control recurrent infections from pathogenic spores like C. diff. These findings validate a great deal of what we already knew about our unique Bacillus spore-based probiotic strains and provide us with even more insights that we hope to investigate further in human clinical trials.
References 1. Theriot CM, Young VB.Interactions between the gastrointestinal microbiome and Clostridium difficile. Annu Rev Microbiol. 2015;69:445-461. 2. McFarland LV. Antibiotic-associated diarrhea: epidemiology, trends and treatment. Future Microbiol. 2008;3(5):563-578. 3. Theriot CM, Young VB.Interactions between the gastrointestinal microbiome and Clostridium difficile. Annu Rev Microbiol. 2015;69:445-461. 4. Jin K, et al. Clostridium difficile infections in China. J Biomed Res. 2010;24(6):411-416. 5. Ripert G, et al. Secreted compounds of the probiotic Bacillus clausii strain O/C inhibit the cytotoxic effects induced by Clostridium difficile and Bacillus cereus toxins. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016;60(6):3445-3454. 6. Ho TD, Ellermeier CD. Ferric uptake regulator Fur control of putative iron acquisition systems in Clostridium difficile. DiRita VJ, ed. J Bacteriol. 2015;197(18):2930-2940. 7. Kapourchali FR, et al. A Spore‐Forming Probiotic Supplement Improves the Intestinal Immune Response and Protects the Intestinal Health During Recurrent Clostridioides difficile Colonization in Mice. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 2020; 00(0): 1–11.