Administration of probiotic kefir to mice with Clostridium difficile infection exacerbates disease

Anaerobe. 2016 Aug;40:54-7. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2016.05.008. Epub 2016 May 11.


Lifeway(®) kefir, a fermented milk product containing 12 probiotic organisms, is reported to show promise as an alternative to fecal microbiota transplantation for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). We employed a murine CDI model to study the probiotic protective mechanisms and unexpectedly determined that kefir drastically increased disease severity. Our results emphasize the need for further independent clinical testing of kefir as alternative therapy in recurrent CDI.

Keywords: Clostridium difficile; Fecal microbiota transplantation; Kefir; Probiotic; Toxin.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clostridioides difficile / drug effects*
  • Clostridioides difficile / growth & development
  • Clostridioides difficile / pathogenicity
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / microbiology
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / mortality
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / pathology*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects
  • Kefir / adverse effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Probiotics / adverse effects*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Survival Analysis