Intestinal bacteria have been implicated in the initiation and perpetuation of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
In contrast, "probiotic bacteria" have properties possibly effective in treating and preventing relapse of IBD.
Dr Richard Fedorak and colleagues evaluated the safety and efficacy of VSL#3 in patients with active mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.
| Intent to treat analysis demonstrated remission in 53% of patients|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The investigators also analyzed the components, and the composition of the biopsy-associated microbiota.
The investigative team gave 34 ambulatory patients with active ulcerative colitis open label VSL#3, 3600 billion bacteria daily in 2 divided doses for 6 weeks.
The team detected the presence of biopsy-associated bacteria using a nucleic acid-based method.
The presence of VSL#3 species was confirmed by DNA sequencing of 16S rRNA.
The investigators reported that 32 patients completed 6 weeks of VSL#3 treatment and that 2 patients did not have the final endoscopic assessment.
Intent to treat analysis demonstrated remission in 53%, a response in 24%, no response in 9%, and worsening in 9%.
The team noted that failure to complete the final sigmoidoscopy assessment occurred in 5%.
The investigators observed no biochemical or clinical adverse events related to VSL#3.
The investigative team detected 2 of the components of VSL#3 by Polymerase Chain Reaction/Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis in biopsies collected from 3 patients in remission.
Dr Fedorak's team concludes, “Treatment of patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitits, not responding to conventional therapy, with VSL#3 resulted in a combined induction of remission/response rate of 77% with no adverse events.”
“At least some of the bacterial species incorporated in the probiotic product reached the target site in amounts that could be detected.”