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Background: Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is associated with high mortality. Clostridium butyricum MIYAIRI 588 (CBM) is a probiotic that suppresses Clostridioides difficile proliferation. We assessed the effect of a prophylactic nutritional protocol with CBM on reducing CDI incidence in critically ill patients. Patients and Methods: Adult critically ill patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) between 2008 and 2012 were enrolled in this single-center observational study. The original nutritional protocol was introduced in 2010. Patients admitted between 2011 and 2012 (nutrition protocol group) were compared with those admitted between 2008 and 2009 (control group). The primary outcome was CDI incidence during ICU stay. Results: There were 755 and 1,047 patients in the control and nutrition protocol groups, respectively. The median (interquartile range) age of the control and nutrition protocol groups was 61 (43-75) and 63 (47-76) years, respectively (p = 0.05). The Acute Physiology and Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores of the control and nutrition protocol groups were 14 (9-23) and 15 (10-22) points (p = 0.73), and four (2-7) and four (2-7) points (p = 0.48), respectively. There were 14 (1.9%) patients with CDI in the control group and one (0.1%) patient in the protocol group (p < 0.01). As a secondary outcome, there were five (0.7%) patients with recurrent CDI in the control group and zero patients in the protocol group (p = 0.01). The length of ICU stay was seven (4-14) days and six (4-13) days in the control and protocol groups (p = 0.01), respectively. Univariable analyses of the relative risk for CDI showed that the nutrition protocol reduced the risk of CDI (0.05 [0.01-0.39]; p < 0.01). Conclusions: The nutritional protocol using Clostridioides butyricum may reduce CDI in critically ill patients.

Keywords: Clostridioides difficile infection; Clostridium butyricum; critically ill patients; diarrhea; nutrition protocol.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Clostridium butyricumReduced ICU Length of StayBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumReduced Incidence of Clostridium Difficile InfectionBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumReduced Recurrent Clostridioides difficile Infection IncidenceBeneficial
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