Probiotics are live microorganisms, mainly belonging to the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, although also strain of other species are commercialized, that have a beneficial effect on the host. From the perspective of antibiotic use, probiotics have been observed to reduce the risk of certain infectious disease such as certain types of diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. This may be accompanied with a reduced need of antibiotics for secondary infections. Antibiotics tend to be effective against most common diseases, but increasingly resistance is being observed among pathogens. Probiotics are specifically selected to not contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance and not carry transferable antibiotic resistance. Concomitant use of probiotics with antibiotics has been observed to reduce the incidence, duration and/or severity of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. This contributes to better adherence to the antibiotic prescription and thereby reduces the evolution of resistance. To what extent probiotics directly reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance is still much under investigation; but maintaining a balanced microbiota during antibiotic use may certainly provide opportunities for reducing the spread of resistances. Key messages Probiotics may reduce the risk for certain infectious diseases and thereby reduce the need for antibiotics. Probiotics may reduce the risk for antibiotic-associated diarrhea Probiotics do not contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance and may even reduce it.
Keywords: Antibiotic-associated diarrhea; Bifidobacterium; Enterococcus; Lactobacillus; antibiotic resistance; probiotics.