Lactobacillus rhamnosus administration causes sepsis in a cardiosurgical patient--is the time right to revise probiotic safety guidelines?

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2011 Oct;17(10):1589-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2011.03614.x. Epub 2011 Aug 16.


A 24-year-old female patient developed sepsis resulting from preoperative administration of probiotics following an aortic valve replacement. Blood cultures revealed the causative agent to be the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which has recently been implicated as an emerging aetiology of infection in those taking probiotics. In the past few years, probiotic use in hospitals has increased greatly. However, there is growing global evidence that the use of probiotics in patients with organ failure, immunocompromised status and dysfunctional gut barrier mechanisms can cause infections. This and other reports show the importance of establishing generally recognized safety guidelines.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aortic Valve / surgery*
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus / pathogenicity*
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage
  • Probiotics / adverse effects*
  • Probiotics / standards
  • Sepsis / etiology*
  • Sepsis / microbiology