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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Enterobacteriaceae suppression by three different oral doses of polymyxin E in human volunteers.

Polymyxin E is frequently used as an oral drug for flora suppression of the gastrointestinal canal. The suppression effect is dose dependent because polymyxin E is moderately inactivated by faecal and food compounds. Three oral polymyxin E doses (150, 300, 600 mg daily) were given to six volunteers for 6 days. The Enterobacteriaceae suppression effect was compared by means of the suppression index i.e. ratio of total number of faecal samples free of Enterobacteriaceae to the total number of faecal samples. The impact on the indigenous (mostly anaerobic) flora was measured in four ways: (i) beta-aspartylglycine content; (ii) volatile fatty acid pattern; (iii) yeast overgrowth and (iv) Streptococcus faecalis decrease. Enterobacteriaceae suppression was most successful during 600 mg oral polymyxin E (suppression indices during 150, 300 and 600 mg were 0.32, 0.55 and 0.89 respectively). None of the four markers of indigenous flora alterations were positive. However, using this dosage half of the volunteers suffered rather severe gastrointestinal side-effects. Oral polymyxin E in a dosage of minimum 600 mg daily seems to possess the ideal properties of a flora suppression agent, if the gastrointestinal side-effects could be mitigated.[1]


  1. Enterobacteriaceae suppression by three different oral doses of polymyxin E in human volunteers. van Saene, J.J., van Saene, H.K., Tarko-Smit, N.J., Beukeveld, G.J. Epidemiol. Infect. (1988) [Pubmed]
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