INFECTION

Probiotics fail to improve preschool gastroenteritis

Although recommended by some for diarrhoeal diseases, data that support treating children with gastroenteritis using probiotics are limited. Two randomized, placebo-controlled trials have now examined the efficacy of a probiotic to improve outcomes of gastroenteritis among preschool children. A total of 1,857 children aged 3–48 months who presented with gastroenteritis to paediatric departments in North America were enrolled in one of the two trials. They all received a 5-day course of a probiotic containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus or placebo, and the primary end point was moderate-to-severe symptoms of gastroenteritis within 14 days, defined using a clinical severity score. In both trials, children that received the probiotic did not have better outcomes than those who received placebo, and no significant differences were found between the groups for secondary outcomes, including duration of diarrhoea or vomiting.

References

Original articles

  1. Schnadower, D. et al. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG versus placebo for acute gastroenteritis in children. N. Engl. J. Med. 379, 2002–2014 (2018)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Freedman, S. B. et al. Multicenter trial of a combination probiotic for children with gastroenteritis. N. Engl. J. Med. 379, 2015–2026 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Iain Dickson.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Dickson, I. Probiotics fail to improve preschool gastroenteritis. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 16, 76 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41575-019-0104-3

Download citation

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing