Nancy Toedter Williams


Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2010;67(6):449-458. 

In This Article

Travelers' Diarrhea

Results of studies evaluating the effectiveness of probiotics for preventing travelers' diarrhea have been inconsistent, possibly due to the probiotic strain used and the various trip destinations. Similar to AAD and CDI, the most commonly studied probiotics for travelers' diarrhea include lactobacilli and S. boulardii.[5,8] Hilton et al.[34] randomized 245 American tourists traveling to various developing countries to receive LGG or placebo. Those travelers who ingested LGG had a mean daily risk of developing diarrhea of 3.9%, compared with 7.4% for travelers taking placebo (p = 0.05). In contrast, Katelaris et al.[35] found that ingestion of L. acidophilus or Lactobacillus fermentum strain KLD did not reduce the frequency of diarrhea among 282 British soldiers deployed to Belize. McFarland[36] conducted a meta-analysis of 12 studies (n = 4709), which included the two above-mentioned studies,[34,35] on the role of probiotics in the prevention of travelers' diarrhea. The types of probiotics in the meta-analysis included S. boulardii (4 studies), various types of lactobacilli (6 studies), and probiotic mixtures (2 studies). The meta-analysis revealed that probiotics significantly prevented travelers' diarrhea (pooled relative risk [RRpooled], 0.85; 95% CI, 0.79–0.91; p < 0.001).


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