Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Research

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How are Probiotics Affected by Antibiotics?

Heidi L Rowles

Probiotics are commercial products that contain healthy bacteriae normally found in the gut flora. Each person has billions of bacteriae living in their gut. Antibiotics are medications commonly prescribed for infections caused by pathogenic bacteriae. Each antibiotic function in a unique way to rid the body of a specific type of bacteriae; however, gut bacteriae are inadvertently destroyed by antibiotics. The initial step of this project was to test a number of probiotic products to confirm their ability to grow in a medium which will verify that these products do indeed deliver viable gut bacteriae to the person ingesting them. Probiotic products are available that contain single strains of bacteriae as well as up to thirty different strains in one product. This allows for testing of a cross-section of the gut bacteriae which are represented by the bacteriae in the probiotics. The second focus of my project was to treat gut bacteriae grown on a medium with different antibiotics to test whether any or all of the gut bacteriae are in fact destroyed by antibiotics. The human body is host to a vast array of healthy bacteriae in the gut. Using an assortment of antibiotics on each probiotic plate offers the opportunity to compare the devastation caused by each antibiotic on the various gut bacteriae made available by the probiotics.