Probiotics in infancy induce protective immune profiles that are characteristic for chronic low-grade inflammation
Marschan, E., Kuitunen, M., Kukkonen, K., Poussa, T., Sarnesto, A., Haahtela, T., Korpela, R., Savilahti, E. and Vaarala, O.
Clin Exp Allergy – 01-APR-2008; 38(4): 611-8
Objectives: To examine the effect of probiotic bacteria on in vivo cytokine, antibody and inflammatory responses in infants at-risk for allergy.
Methods: In a randomized, double blind placebo controlled study, probiotic bacteria were given to mothers for 1 month before delivery and to their infants for 6 months. Plasma samples were analyzed for a variety of cellular, humoral and inflammatory parameters: C-reactive protein (CRP), total IgA and IgE, food-specific IgA, IgG, and IgE, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α and IFN-.γ were determined. Measurements were analyzed at 6 months and 2 years.
Results: Infants in the probiotic treatment group had higher CRP values (p=0.008). This was associated, at 2 years of age, with a decreased risk of eczema (odds ratio (OR) 0.41, 95% CI, p=0.046) and a decreased risk of allergic disease (OR 0.38, 95% CI, p =0.023). Probiotic treatment was also associated with an increase in IgE, sIgA and IL-10, paralleling the profile seen in low-grade inflammation.
Conclusions: This study supports the concept that low-grade inflammation is correlated with a decreased incidence of eczema and allergic disease. This decrease, in turn, was correlated with the ingestion of probiotics.