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Hospitals launch “good bug” trial


10 November, 2008  

The UK could become a world leader in the study of “friendly bacteria” used to combat potentially fatal hospital bugs after a pioneering trial was launched, it has been claimed.

A series of UK hospitals are linking up for the £1.2 million, three-year clinical trials into the use of probiotics. In their sights is the potential killer Clostridium difficile bug.

If the results prove positive, lives and millions of pounds will be saved and waiting lists in UK hospitals will inevitably drop. Health bodies around the world could turn to the UK as the hospitals involved are seen as centres of excellence in their field.

The link-up is between Swansea University’s School of Medicine and the city’s Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust in south Wales. They will work in partnership with County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.

In total five hospitals will be taking part including Singleton Hospital and Morriston Hospital in Swansea. The other three are Darlington Memorial Hospital, University Hospital of North Durham and Bishop Auckland General Hospital in County Durham.

The hope is that “healthy bacteria,” such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, will be shown to suppress the negative effects of antibiotics.

Copyright Press Association 2008

Swansea University