Probiotics in the treatment of atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome in infants: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial

Allergy. 2005 Apr;60(4):494-500. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2004.00514.x.


Background: Probiotic bacteria are suggested to reduce symptoms of the atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS) in food-allergic infants. We aimed to investigate whether probiotic bacteria have any beneficial effect on AEDS.

Methods: Follow-up of severity of AEDS by the Severity Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index in 230 infants with suspected cow's milk allergy (CMA) receiving, in a randomized double-blinded manner, concomitant with elimination diet and skin treatment, Lactobacillus GG (LGG), a mixture of four probiotic strains, or placebo for 4 weeks. Four weeks after the treatment, CMA was diagnosed with a double-blind placebo-controlled (DBPC) milk challenge in 120 infants.

Results: In the whole group, mean SCORAD (at baseline 32.5) decreased by 65%, but with no differences between treatment groups immediately or 4 weeks after the treatment. No treatment differences were observed in infants with CMA either. In IgE-sensitized infants, however, the LGG group showed a greater reduction in SCORAD than did the placebo group, -26.1 vs-19.8 (P=0.036), from baseline to 4 weeks after the treatment. Exclusion of infants who had received antibiotics during the study reinforced the findings in the IgE-sensitized subgroup.

Conclusion: Treatment with LGG may alleviate AEDS symptoms in IgE-sensitized infants but not in non-IgE-sensitized infants.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / blood
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / pathology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Infant
  • Lactobacillus / isolation & purification
  • Male
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Syndrome


  • Immunoglobulin E