Public Release: 

Cow protein aids in treatment of gastrointestinal disorder

Study finds protein reduces side effects and resistance from antibiotics

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Pisa, Italy - May 16, 2007 -- Recent evidence suggests that therapy currently used to treat Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, a major cause of upper gastrointestinal disorders, is unsuccessful in around 25 percent of cases. A new study, published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, finds that adding a bovine protein called lactoferrin to the existing treatment may yield more effective results, with fewer of the side effects associated with common antibiotic treatment.

Lactoferrin has previously been found to be effective at inhibiting the growth of microorganisms and reducing the side effects of antibiotics, respectively, but the new study marks the first time that they have been used together to treat H. pylori. The study found that the infection-causing bacterium was eliminated in more patients treated with the traditional therapy plus lactoferrin than with the existing treatments and may be used without risk of resistance.

"Various studies are under way to evaluate new antibiotics and different therapeutic methods to increase the efficacy of H. pylori therapy," says lead author Nicola de Bortoli, M.D., Ph.D., adding that "data suggest that antibiotic resistance is frequent and clinicians are realizing that use of an additional agent may be necessary for therapy."

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This study is published in the May 2007 issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

Nicola de Bortoli, M.D., Ph.D. is a gastroenterologist in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Pisa and is a member of the Italian Society of Digestive Endoscopy (SIED), Operative Group for the Study of Esophageal Precancerosis (GOSPE) and the Italian Society of Gastroenterologist (SIGE). He can be reached for questions at medin044@int.med.unipi.it or nick.debortoli@int.med.unipi.it.

The American Journal of Gastroenterology meets the day-to-day demands of clinical practice. Aimed at practicing clinicians, the journal's articles deal directly with the disorders seen most often in patients. The journal brings a broad-based, interdisciplinary approach to the study of gastroenterology, including articles reporting on current observations, research results, methods of treatment, drugs, epidemiology, and other topics relevant to clinical gastroenterology. For more information, please visit www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/jag.

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