Can probiotics replace antibiotics in the future?

  • KC Anukam Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin,Edo State, Nigeria
  • EO Osazuwa Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin,Edo State, Nigeria
Keywords: probiotics, antibiotics, lactobacilli, infection, bacterial vaginosis, diarrhoea

Abstract

The vaginal vault is normally dominated by microorganisms, mostly lactobacilli, adapted to maintain normal health of women\'s urogenital tract during reproductive age. When there is a shift in the vaginal microbiota, infection may result. Attempts are currently being made to use probiotics as a prophylaxis in urogenital infection and gastrointestinal diseases, since pathogenic microorganisms are becoming increasingly resistant to antimicrobial agents. Probiotics are living microorganisms that can affect the host in a beneficial manner. The mechanism of action of probiotics may include receptor competition, adhesive ability and production of acids, bacteriocins, hydrogen peroxide and biosurfactants. Oral administration of probiotics has been demonstrated to be well-tolerated and safe. Recolonizing the vaginal microbiota with probiotics either orally or through vaginal capsular instillation has produced mixed results, but research aimed at selecting scientifically based strains could well provide a reliable alternative treatment and preventive regimen to the use of antibiotics in the near future.

Keywords: probiotics, antibiotics, lactobacilli, infection, bacterial vaginosis, diarrhoea

West African Journal of Pharmacology and Drug Research Vol. 20(1&2) 2004: 1-5

Published
2005-12-05
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 0303-691X