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Probiotic may minimize severity of C. difficile-induced colitis: Ganeden study

By Stephen Daniells , 10-Jan-2012
Last updated on 16-Jan-2012 at 21:03 GMT

Dietary supplements with Ganeden’s BC30 bacterial strain may reduce the severity of infection with C. difficile and speed recovery, suggests new data from a study with animals.

Almost 70% of lab mice had normal stools after receiving Ganeden’s spore forming probiotic strain Bacillus Coagulans (BC30) 12 days after being infected with C. diff, compared with only 13% of C. diff-infected mice not receiving the probiotic, according to results published in Gut Microbes.

The C. diff burden

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), C. diff causes an inflammation of the colon (colitis), with the most common symptoms of infection being diarrhea and fever.

Over 250,000 Clostridium difficile infections are reported in the US every year , which is more than the ‘flu (200,000). Between 15,000 and 30,000 deaths are believed to be due to C. diff every year.

Current treatments, ranging from changing the antibiotics used to dietary changes, reported to have limited effectiveness and people are subject to relapse.

Several studies have reported that probiotics have potential to fight C. diff. The new study, performed by scientists from Penn State College of Medicine and Ganeden Biotech indicates that the Ohio-based companies BC30 branded ingredient may reduce the severity of infection with C. diff and speed recovery.

Study details

For the new study, Penn State’s Dr. Leo Fitzpatrick and his co-workers infected lab mice with C. difficile or a and then dosed them with either a saline solution or BC30 (2 billion colony forming units (CFU) per day) for 15 days. The animals also received an antibiotic mixture for a couple of days during the study.

Results showed that all the mice given BC30 were still alive on day 13 of the study, while two mice in the non-BC30 group had died.

On the twelfth day of the study, 67% of mice in the BC30 group had normal stools, compared with only 13% in the saline group. On day 16, 24% of animals in the BC30 group still had normal stools, while no animals in the saline group had any normal stools, said the researchers.

In addition, the Penn State researchers report that “BC30 modestly attenuated the colonic pathology that was present following C. difficile infection”.

“Future studies with this murine model of C. difficile-associated disease should focus on effects of BC30 on the recurrence of C. difficile following treatment with vancomycin,” wrote the researchers.

“Using this recurrence paradigm, the unwanted anti-microbial effects of antibiotics will not negatively impact the presence of BC-30 in the mouse colon.”

Ganeden success

Michael Bush, VP of business development, Ganeden Biotech told NutraIngredients-USA that the C. Diff study is part of a current research track relating to gut health in healthcare settings. "We have some great things going on this this space with some interesting announcements expected in the coming quarter or two."

The company’s strain is said to have significant advantages over rival strains in food and beverage applications owing to its ability to withstand extremes of temperature and harsh processing techniques.

BC30 is a spore-forming bacterium, which means that inside the cell is a hardened structure, or spore, a bit like a seed. This safeguards the cell’s genetic material from the heat and pressur of manufacturing processes, stomach acid and bile.

Once it is inside the small intestine, it is said that the viable spore is then able to germinate and produce new vegetative cells or ‘good bacteria’.

The Ohio-based company has experienced a great deal of success with its spore-forming bacteria, with interest from food and beverage manufacturers spanning a wide spectrum of products, from protein powder to oatmeal, macaroni and cheese and private label nutrition bars, the company said.

Source: Gut Microbes
2011, 3:16, doi:10.1186/1757-4749-3-16
Bacillus Coagulans GBI-30 (BC30) improves indices of Clostridium difficile-Induced colitis in mice”
Authors: L.R. Fitzpatrick, J.S. Small, W.H. Greene, K.D. Karpa, D. Keller

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