Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2006; 8(2):151-172
Currently, prophylactic and therapeutic use of probiotics is a common practice worldwide, although their effectiveness remains controversial. This review presents data on main probiotic microorganisms. This paper summarizes available evidence-based data on the rationale for the prophylactic and therapeutic use of probiotics as well as current approaches to their use for treatment and prevention both infectious and non-infectious GI tract conditions/diseases, primarily antibiotic-associated diarrhea, GI infections, inflammatory bowel diseases, H. pylori eradication therapy. The magnitude of probiotics in the prevention of infections (especially, respiratory tract infections) in adults and children, and the potential for the use of this drug class in the treatment of allergy, female genitourinary tract infections, surgical diseases, and their promising use in the other fields of clinical medicine are also considered. A focus on safety issues concerning the use of probiotics is made.