PPIs may promote C. difficile infection

Proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk of Clostridium difficile infection because they alter the composition of gut bacteria, UK research shows.

A study of gastrointestinal bacteria profiles in more than 1800 people found that PPI use had a significant impact on the composition of the gut microbiome, promoting colonisation by throat and skin pathogens usually kept at bay by the acidic pH of the stomach.

PPI users had significantly higher rates of bacteria such as lactobaccilli, streptococci and clostridium species, according to the study published in Gut.