Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of probiotics in the prevention of gastrointestinal colonization by Candida species, of late-onset sepsis and neurological outcome in preterm newborns.
Study design: A prospective study was conducted in 249 preterms who were subdivided into three groups: one group (n=83) was supplemented with Lactobacillus (L.) reuteri, one group with L. rhamnosus (n=83) and the other with no supplementation (n=83). The fungal colonization in the gastrointestinal tract, the late onset of sepsis and clinical parameters were recorded. A neurological structured assessment was further performed at 1 year of age.
Result: Candida stool colonization was significantly higher (P<0.01) in the control group than in the groups treated with probiotics. The L. reuteri group presented a significantly higher reduction in gastrointestinal symptoms than did the L. rhamnosus and control groups. Infants treated with probiotics showed a statistically significant lower incidence of abnormal neurological outcome than did the control group.
Conclusion: The use of both probiotics seems to be effective in the prevention of gastrointestinal colonization by Candida, in the protection from late-onset sepis and in reducing abnormal neurological outcomes in preterms.