Gastroenteritis and other types of infectious diarrhea -  When your microbiota is struggling

The thematic paper Gastroenteritis and other types of infectious diarrhea -  When your microbiota is struggling describes the latest advances on the relationship between gut microbiota and diarrhea, which is the main symptom of gastrointestinal infections and the second leading cause of death worldwide in children under five. Would it be possible to combat diarrhea by acting on the microbiota? Who is responsible for damaging our flora? The aim of this thematic paper is to provide some insights into these issues.

For example, we are told that antibiotics not only target pathogens. Although antibiotics eradicate pathogenic germs responsible for infections, they can also destroy some beneficial bacteria of the gut microbiota and lead to an imbalance that can in turn cause diarrhea. Between 10% and 30% of patients treated with antibiotics report an alteration of intestinal transit within 3 to 5 days of treatment.

Or that probiotics effects depend on the type of infection. Benefits seem to be specific to each strain. However, when probiotics are used in case of infection, they can alleviate symptoms, and the earlier they are administered, the more efficient they are. For instance, Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG are microorganisms that seem to reduce the duration of gastroenteritis symptoms.