Early markers of allergic disease in a primary prevention study using probiotics: 2.5-year follow-up phase

Allergy. 2008 Nov;63(11):1481-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2008.01778.x.


Background: We previously reported that a Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotic strain (LAFTI) L10/LAVRI-A1) given for the first 6 months of life increased the risk of allergen sensitization at 1 year of age.

Methods: To assess the effects on subsequent allergic outcomes, 153 children from the initial prevention cohort (n = 178) were reviewed at 2.5 years of age. Clinical outcomes were assessed in relation to (i) probiotic supplementation; and (ii) immune function previously assessed at 6 months of age.

Results: Supplementation with this probiotic did not reduce the risk of dermatitis at 2.5 years (31/74, 42%) compared with that in placebo group (25/76, 34%). There was no significant reduction in any other allergic disease or allergen sensitization. Inhalant sensitization at 2.5 years (n = 29) was associated with higher proportions of circulating CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T-cell populations (P = 0.005) and higher allergen-induced FOXP3 levels (P = 0.003) at 6 months. This was also seen in children with dermatitis. Children with dermatitis at 2.5 years also had significantly lower toll-like receptor 4 lipopolysaccharide responses at 6 months of age (IL-12 P = 0.04, IL-6 P = 0.039) and lower polyclonal (PHA) responses (IFN-gamma P = 0.005, IL-10 P = 0.001, and IL-6 P = 0.001). Children who had previously received the probiotic had fewer gastrointestinal infections in the preceding 18 months (P = 0.023).

Conclusion: The LAFTI L10 probiotic strain did not have any significant effect on allergy outcomes. Allergic children showed a number of early differences in immune function including altered regulatory T-cell markers and innate immune function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / prevention & control*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus / immunology*
  • Primary Prevention
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Skin Tests
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism


  • Allergens
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines