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Minerva Pediatrics 2021 June;73(3):222-9

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.20.05925-3


language: English

Use of a probiotic mixture containing Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 and Enterococcus faecium L3 as prophylaxis to reduce the incidence of acute gastroenteritis and upper respiratory tract infections in children

Francesco DI PIERRO 1 , Patrizia LO RUSSO 2, Maria L. DANZA 2, Isabella BASILE 2, Stefania SOARDO 2, Giovanni CAPOCASALE 3, Sandro B. PAPARONE 4, Vittoria PALETTA 5, Cosimo LANZA 5, Elvira SCHIAVONE 6, Paolo RISSO 7, Maria COLOMBO 2

1 Velleja Research, Milan, Italy; 2 ATS Milan, Milan, Italy; 3 ASP Crotone, Crotone, Italy; 4 ASP Messina, Messina, Italy; 5 ASP Cosenza, Cosenza, Italy; 6 ASP Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy, 7 Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy

BACKGROUND: For healthy children, attending communities such as nurseries, kindergartens or schools, exposes them to the risk of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) and/or upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). We therefore evaluated whether the use of a well-documented probiotic formula could act as prophylaxis for AGE and URTIs, reducing the risk of occurrence.
METHODS: In a randomized study, we tested a probiotic mixture containing Bifidobacterium animalis subspecies lactis BB-12 and Enterococcus faecium L3 on 94 healthy children, comparing the incidence and duration of episodes of AGE and the incidence of URTIs to those of a control group of 109 healthy, untreated subjects. In a subgroup consisting of 34 healthy, treated children, we also evaluated salivary IgA levels.
RESULTS: The use of the probiotic formula significantly reduced the incidence and duration of episodes of AGE by 82% and 45%, respectively, and the incidence and duration of episodes of URTIs by 84% and 50%. Salivary IgA levels significantly increased three-fold after 90 days of probiotic treatment. The probiotic formula was well tolerated and no side effects occurred.
CONCLUSIONS: According to our results, use of the probiotic strains BB-12 and L3 statistically reduced the risk of AGE and URTIs in healthy children and increased levels of salivary IgA.

KEY WORDS: Influenza, human; Common cold; Diarrhea; Bifidobacterium animalis; Enterococcus faecium

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