Infection of pancreatic necrosis by gut bacteria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with severe acute pancreatitis. Use of prophylactic antibiotics remains controversial. The aim of this experiment was assess if modification of intestinal flora with specifically designed multispecies probiotics reduces bacterial translocation or improves outcome in a rat model of acute pancreatitis. METHODS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were allocated into 3 groups: (1) controls (sham-operated, no treatment), (2) pancreatitis and placebo, and (3) pancreatitis and probiotics. Acute pancreatitis was induced by intraductal glycodeoxycholate and intravenous cerulein infusion. Daily probiotics or placebo was administered intragastrically from 5 days prior until 7 days after induction of pancreatitis. Tissue and fluid samples were collected for microbiologic and quantitative real-time PCR analysis of bacterial translocation. RESULTS: Probiotics reduced duodenal bacterial overgrowth of potential pathogens (Log(10) colony-forming units [CFU]/g 5.0 +/- 0.7 [placebo] vs 3.5 +/- 0.3 CFU/g [probiotics], P <.05), resulting in reduced bacterial translocation to extraintestinal sites, including the pancreas (5.38 +/- 1.0 CFU/g [placebo] vs 3.1 +/- 0.5 CFU/g [probiotics], P <.05). Accordingly, health scores were better and late phase mortality was reduced: 27% (4/15, placebo) versus 0% (0/13, probiotics), respectively, P <.05. CONCLUSIONS: This experiment supports the hypothesis that modification of intestinal flora with multispecies probiotics results in reduced bacterial translocation, morbidity, and mortality in the course of experimental acute pancreatitis.
- acute necrotizing pancreatitis
- evaluating therapy