C. difficile infection is a disease of dysbiosis – the most common pathology is that antibacterial agents disturb the balance of micro-organisms in the gut leaving C. difficle the ecological space to produce toxin and cause diseases. So, could it be that ‘probiotics’ could fill the ecological space and reduce the risk of CDI? Despite numerous trials, the jury is out!
Vandini et al. (1) evaluate the effect of a microbial cleaner, containing spores of food grade Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus pumilus and Bacillus megaterium in two Italian and one Belgium hospital.
According to the abstract 20,000 microbiological samples were taken from surfaces, during the 24-week investigation, which would equal approximately 120 samples per day!
While nothing about blinding or block-randomization (or any possible approach that would eliminate bias) was mentioned, it is stated that the cleaning staff was not aware which cleaning product they used. Seen the fact that chlorine based-cleaners were the standard products in the two Italian hospitals, this seems hard to believe. The study period started at different times in the hospitals (but not by design) and in opposite to the abstract for different periods of time, namely 6, 24, and 66 weeks, respectively.