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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of August 20, 2017


#3: Probiotic Proves Deadly Against Clostridium difficile

The researchers studied the effects of L. reuteri on C. difficile grown in a laboratory, and found that when the probiotic was supplemented with glycerol, it converted it into the broad-spectrum antimicrobial compound reuterin. The reuterin acted as an antimicrobial agent, and worked as well as vancomycin to inhibit C. difficile growth. In addition, the researchers found that glycerol or L. reuteri alone were not effective against C. difficile, and that the reuterin did not harm the good bacteria in the complex gut community"Probiotics are commonly used to treat a range of human diseases, yet clinical studies are generally fraught by variable clinical outcomes and protective mechanisms are poorly understood in patients,” explained senior author Tor Savidge, PhD. “This study provides important clues on why clinical efficacy may be seen in some patients treated with one probiotic bacterium but not with others.”

While the results are preliminary, the authors note that their findings suggest that the combination of L. reuteri and glycerol could be used as a novel treatment against C. difficile infections as well as preventatively in patients before they receive antibiotics. The new study is part of a growing body of research supporting the use of beneficial bacteria against antibiotic-resistant pathogens as an alternative to antibiotic drugs.

Read more about how probiotics work against C. difficile, here.

#2: Hand Hygiene in Hospitals Increases with Patient Involvement

Despite decreasing statistics, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) continue to be a major source of infections in the United States. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, “on any given day, about 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one HAI.” Arguably, one of the best ways to prevent HAIs is through performing appropriate hand-hygiene; however, reports reveal that 70% of healthcare workers and 50% of surgical teams do not routinely practice hand hygiene. Now, researchers from the West Virginia University (WVU) School of Medicine may have come up with a way to help decrease those numbers by empowering patients to take an active role in their provider’s hand hygiene.

The new research, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, and led by Allison Lastinger, MD, of the WVU School of Medicine, details the results of a cross-sectional, anonymous, self-administered questionnaire that was administered to 114 parents of hospitalized children and 108 adult patients (from December 2015 to June 2016), as well as primary care physicians (29 residents and 60 attending physicians in November 2015) at the WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital. The questionnaire surveyed the respondents on their feelings about a new patient empowerment tool (PET), designed to enable patients to take an active role in encouraging healthcare provider hand hygiene.

Learn more about how patient involvement impacts hand hygiene in hospitals, here.

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