Designer probiotics: the future or too much to stomach?

Although the benefits of probiotics have been postulated for more than 100 years, there has been an increasing interest in the effects of probiotics on ill health and general well being over recent years.

Studies have shown positive outcomes of probiotics in the treatment and prevention of gastrointestinal infections and disease. But are generic probiotics enough? In the review “Probiotics and gastrointestinal disease: successes, problems and future prospects” published in Gut Pathogens, Eamonn Culligan et al. review the treatment of various GI disorders with specific probiotic strains. They also discuss whether the future lies with designer probiotics, which are engineered to specifically target a particular toxin or pathogen, but raise concerns of a negative public reaction to the development of this possible course of treatment.

Will designer probiotics be the future treatment of GI disorders? Or will public resistance for genetically modified organisms hinder its progress?

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