Vaccine for C Difficile Superbug is Unnecessary

By on February 18, 2009
c-difficile superbug vaccine is coming

C difficile is the “new superbug”. In other words, it’s a pathogen that is very hard to kill with the current antibiotics that are on the market. This is a problem because when people become infected with these superbugs, just like the more common MRSA superbug, there are few antibiotics that will work to kill them, which means that people end up dying. In the case of C-difficile, it is a highly contagious disease that causes abdominal pain and diarrhea and is a HUGE problem in hospitals.

C-difficile is not just a bug, but also an infection known as Antibiotic Colitis, and it can and does kill people even in it’s non-superbug form. It can even live in humans as a subclinical chronic infection, slowly damaging the intestines year after year. Most people acquire C difficile as a ‘side effect’ of antibiotic use and often acquire it DURING a hospital stay, where they are required to be segregated from other patients and placed in ‘isolation’ to protect the health care workers and other hospital patients from acquiring it. It seems strange to GET an infection from antibiotic use but, like the Candida yeast infection, C-difficile is present in our bodies all of the time, and as a Side Effect of Antibiotics, it kills off the competing bacteria that keep it in check, and allow it to flourish after treatment with antibiotics.

But C difficile has been transforming, and has been in the news lately as a new superbug that is becoming highly resistant to the medications that are used to treat it. Much like the more familiar Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus, more commonly known as ‘MRSA’, another bug called Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and now even Strep -as in strep throat– it is now being called a ‘Multiple Drug Resistant Organism’.

As usual, drug companies have created a so-called solution to this problem in the form of a drug.
In this case, the drug is a vaccine designed to prevent C difficile and is beginning human trials in hospitalized patients over 65 years old. While on the surface, this sounds GREAT!! Hey, lets prevent this terrible disease!! But the truth is that there is already a  well studied, inexpensive and easy to use solution to this problem.

This solution has been used for years by natural health practitioners and there are many studies to back up its effectiveness. The problem: ANTI-biotics. The solution: PRO-biotics. Probiotics are well-studied in the realm of prevention of antibiotic associated diarrhea as well as the prevention of antibiotic associated C difficile infection. Even the STRAINS  of the specific probiotic bacteria that help to prevent C difficile are well known.

Saccromyces boulardii and lactobacillis acidophilus have been extremely well studied for the prevention of antibiotic associated diarrhea.
Natural Standard, an organization dedicated to providing high quality, peer-reviewed, evidence-based information about complementary and alternative therapies states, “There is good evidence that concurrent use of Saccharomyces boulardii with antibiotic therapy reduces the incidence of developing antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) (Clostridium difficile and other).” And they give it an A for its therapeutic effectiveness based on no less than 15 cited studies.

So, why are we going around testing potentially dangerous vaccines that usually contain toxic preservatives such as: thimerosol, coal tar, and/or formaldehyde when there is ALREADY an effective solution to the problem at hand? And why are we not ALREADY treating patients in the hospital who are at risk of C difficile infection by giving them the natural probiotic saccromyces boulardii?

Good Questions!! The next time you or a loved one ends up taking antibiotics, you might very well ask your doctor these very same questions.

About Kerri Knox, RN

The author is a Registered Nurse and Functional Medicine Practitioner. With 20 years of experience in health care, she has the unique perspective of being solidly grounded in both Conventional Medicine and Alternative Medicine. She can help you to to find and repair the underlying causes of chronic illness, while empowering you to take charge of your own health. She is the owner and author of this blog and website.
Comments
annamacdonagh@gmail.com' Anna M says:

It does seem that certain segments of the medical community are resistant to natural remedies and options for antibiotic-related side effects. My doctor ALWAYS prescribes probiotics in conjunction with antibiotics (and tries to limit the frequency of antibiotic prescriptions as well). He feels it’s a no-brainer that as antibiotics are usually quite effective in wiping out every little bacterium in their path, your body can always benefit from some microscopic boosts during and after antibiotic treatment.

The info provided on two strains that can help with C difficile is great! Patients need all the holistic and effective support they can get while in hospital. Probiotics to the rescue!
-Anna M.

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