A group of researchers from Denmark examined the effect of 2 newly identified probiotic Lactobacillus strains in acute childhood diarrhea.
They included 69 children hospitalized for acute diarrhea.
Each was randomized to receive a mixture of Lactobacillus rhamnosus 19070-2 and Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 12246 (1010 colony-forming units of each strain) or placebo, twice daily for 5 days.
Before selection of these stains their potential probiotic characteristics were demonstrated in vitro and in healthy volunteers.
In patients receiving probiotics, the diarrheal phase was discovered to be reduced by 20%.
The duration of diarrhea was 82 hours in the treatment group versus 101 hours in the control group, a finding that was not significant.
However, 3 of 30 patients from the treatment group, compared with 13 of 39 from the control group, still had loose stools at the end of the study period.
In patients with diarrhea for < 60 hours before start of treatment (early intervention), a clear effect of the probiotics was demonstrated (80 hours in the treatment group vs 130 hours in the control group).
| Probiotics reduced diarrheal phase by 20%.
| Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal |
After early intervention, the length of hospitalization was reduced by 48% (3.5 vs 1.7 days).
At the end of the intervention, rotavirus antigen was found in 12% of patients from the treatment group versus 46% from the control group.
Vibeke Rosenfeldt, of the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg, said on behalf of fellow authors, "The two probiotics, L. rhamnosus 19070-2 and L. reuteri DSM 12246, ameliorated acute diarrhea in hospitalized children and reduced the period of rotavirus excretion."
"Oral bacteriotherapy was associated with a reduced length of hospital stay.
"In addition, the beneficial effects were most prominent in children treated early in the diarrheal phase," it was concluded.