Probiotics Feeding in Prevention of Urinary Tract Infection, Bacterial Sepsis and Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Preterm Infants
A Prospective Double-Blind StudyDani C. · Biadaioli R. · Bertini G. · Martelli E. · Rubaltelli F.F.
Department of Surgical and Medical Critical Care, Division of Neonatology, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy
Background: It has been suggested that probiotics can reduce the overgrowth of pathogens in the bowels of preterm infants and contribute to the reduction of the incidence of nosocomial infections in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Lactobacillus GG supplementation in reducing the incidence of urinary tract infections (UTIs), bacterial sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in preterm infants. Methods: A double-blind study was conducted in 12 Italian NICUs. Newborn infants with a gestational age <33 weeks or birthweight <1,500 g were randomized to receive standard milk feed supplemented with Lactobacillus GG (Dicoflor®, Dicofarm, Rome, Italy) in a dose of 6 × 109 colony-forming units (cfu) once a day until discharge, starting with the first feed or placebo. Results: Five hundred eighty-five patients were studied. The probiotics group (n = 295) and the placebo group (n = 290) exhibited similar clinical characteristics. The duration of Lactobacillus GG and placebo supplementation was 47.3 ± 26.0 and 48.2 ± 24.3 days, respectively. Although UTIs (3.4 vs. 5.8%) and NEC (1.4 vs. 2.7%) were found less frequently in the probiotic group compared to the control group, these differences were not significant. Bacterial sepsis was more frequent in the probiotics group (4.4%, n = 11) than in the placebo group (3.8%, n = 9), but the difference was not significant. Conclusion: Seven days of Lactobacillus GG supplementation starting with the first feed is not effective in reducing the incidence of UTIs, NEC and sepsis in preterm infants. Further studies are required to confirm our results in lower birthweight populations.
Carlo Dani, MD
Division of Neonatology
Careggi University Hospital of Florence
Viale Morgagni 85, I–50134 Florence (Italy)
Tel. +39 055 4277428, Fax +39 055 412900, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Number of Print Pages : 6
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 40
Biology of the Neonate (Foetal and Neonatal Research)
Vol. 82, No. 2, Year 2002 (Cover Date: Released August 2002)
Journal Editor: J.P. Relier, Paris
ISSN: 0006–3126 (print), 1421–9727 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/bon