Effect of probiotic Lactobacillus strains on acute diarrhea in a cohort of nonhospitalized children attending day-care centers

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2002 May;21(5):417-9. doi: 10.1097/00006454-200205000-00013.


Background: Certain strains of lactobacilli have been shown to promote recovery from rotavirus enteritis in hospitalized children. Few studies have examined the effect of probiotics in nonhospitalized children with mild diarrhea.

Methods: We studied in a randomized placebo-controlled trial the effect of lyophilized Lactobacillus rhamnosus 19070-2 and Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 12246, 10(10) colony-forming units of each strain twice daily for 5 days, on acute diarrhea in children in a cohort of children recruited from local day-care centers. The duration of diarrhea and assessment of stool consistency were recorded by the parents.

Results: In patients treated with the selected Lactobacillus strains, the mean duration of diarrhea after intervention was reduced (76 h in patients treated with probiotics vs. 116 h in the placebo group; P = 0.05). In patients with diarrhea for <60 h before start of treatment (early intervention), a more pronounced effect of probiotics was found. The time to recovery after early treatment was 79 h vs. 139 h in the placebo group (P = 0.02); 1 of 17 patients treated early vs. 6 of 13 in the control group still had loose stools 120 h after start of treatment (P = 0.03).

Conclusions: In children from day-care centers with mild gastroenteritis, the combination of L. rhamnosus 19070-2 and L. reuteri DSM 12246 was effective in reducing the duration of diarrhea.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Child Day Care Centers*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy*
  • Diarrhea / pathology
  • Female
  • Gastroenteritis / complications
  • Gastroenteritis / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lactobacillus*
  • Male
  • Outpatients
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome