Role of probiotics in Helicobacter pylori infections
AbstractHelicobacter pylori is the main causal agent of several gastrointestinal disturbances (e.g. chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer, gastric cancer). Treatments based on a combination of antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors are currently used to eradicate the gastric infection. Despite the high eradication rate reached by standard therapies (_/80%), because of the high incidence of H. pylori-related diseases worldwide new options to improve the eradication rate are needed. Probiotics are defined as live, non-pathogenic microbial feed or food supplements that exert a positive influence on the host by altering the host’s microbial balance. Probiotics seem to exert a direct antimicrobial effect, as shown by in vitro studies, through competition with H. pylori, inhibition of adherence and production of metabolites and antimicrobial molecules. Implementation of probiotics with standard anti-H. pylori regimens can also improve patients’ compliance with therapy, reducing t he incidence of side-effects associated with antibiotic treatment. This article summarizes the relevant currently available data on the potential benefits of the use of probiotics in the management of H. pylori infection. Keywords: gastritis; Helicobacter pylori; lactobacilli; probiotics
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