Objective: Probiotics reduce intestinal inflammation in, and Lactobacillus GG (LGG) reduces pulmonary exacerbation rate cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. We intended to determine the effect of a mixed probiotic preparation on pulmonary exacerbations and inflammatory characteristics of the sputum in CF patients.
Study design: A prospective pilot study of 10 CF patients with mild-moderate lung disease and Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonization, treated with probiotics for 6 months. Pulmonary function tests (PFT's), sputum cultures with semi-quantitative bacterial analysis, and sputum neutrophil count and interleukin-8 (IL-8) levels were compared to pre-treatment and post-treatment values. The rate of pulmonary exacerbations was compared to 2 years prior to the study.
Results: The exacerbation rate was significantly reduced in comparison to the previous 2 years and to 6 months post-treatment (P = 0.002). PFT's have not changed at the end of treatment and during 6 months post-treatment. No change in sputum bacteria, neutrophil count, and IL-8 levels was observed.
Conclusion: Probiotics reduce pulmonary exacerbations rate in patients with CF. Probiotics may have a preventive potential for pulmonary deterioration in CF patients.