Probiotics And Diarrhea in Infants

Probiotics have clinical, microbiologic, and immunologic efficacy in acute infectious diarrhea

Chen, C.C., Kong, M.S., Lai, M.W., Chao, H.C., Chang, K.W., Chen, S.Y., Huang, Y.C., Chiu, C.H., Li, W.C., Lin, P.Y., Chen, C.J., and Li, T.Y.

Pediatr Infect Dis J – 01-FEB-2010; 29(2): 135-8.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical, microbiologic and immunologic effects of probiotic use in acute infectious diarrhea in infants aged 3-6 months.

Methods: 304 infants, ranging in age from 3-6 months and hospitalized for acute diarrhea were randomized and received a mixture of three probiotics (Bacillus mesentericus, Enterococcus faecalis, and Clostridium butyricum; “Bio-three”) or placebo three times daily for a 7 day period. Fecal samples were examined for bacterial growth and blood was assayed for specific cytokines.

Results: The duration of diarrhea was significantly decreased (p=0.003) in infants receiving probiotics. Bifidobacterial and Lactobacillus colonies were found at increased levels in the stools of those infants receiving probiotics. Further, the treated infants had increased serum levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and decreased serum levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α.

Conclusions: Probiotic treatment appeared to enhance protective immunity, diminish the inflammatory response and restore beneficial intestinal flora in infants with acute infectious diarrhea.