Background & objectives: Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD) remains an important nosocomial ailment. Antimicrobial therapy used for CDAD gives inconsistent results. This experimental study was planned to investigate the beneficial effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus and epidermal growth factor (EGF) for CDAD management.
Methods: Among 10 groups of BALB/c mice (6 in each), group 1 served as controls receiving no inoculum. Animals in groups 2-10 received C. difficile, those in groups 3, 6 and 9 received L. acidophilus and those in groups 4, 7 and 10 received EGF after C. difficile inoculation. Animals in groups 5-7 were pre-treated with ampicillin and those in groups 8-10 with lansoprazole prior to C. difficile. The animals were killed and investigated for colonisation by C. difficile and toxin production, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and histopathology.
Results: Colonisation by C. difficile was found to be significantly different (P<0.001) in the various groups. C. difficile toxin titres and MPO activity were significantly lower in animals given L. acidophilus and EGF after ampicillin (groups 6 and 7) and lansoprazole (groups 9 and 10). The severity of acute inflammation was also significantly less (P<0.05) in caecal and colonic segments of animals in groups 6 and 7 compared to those in group 5. Although the severity of acute inflammation was less in the caecal and colonic segment of animals in groups 9 and 10, the reduction was not significant compared to group 8.
Interpretation & conclusions: Our findings showed that the administration of L. acidophilus and EGF reduced the severity of C. difficile infection in the experimental animals.