Efficacy of probiotic Lactobacillus GG on allergic sensitization and asthma in infants at risk

Clin Exp Allergy. 2010 Sep;40(9):1398-405. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2010.03560.x. Epub 2010 Jun 28.


Background: Probiotics are perceived to exert beneficial effects in the prevention and treatment of allergic diseases.

Objective: There are conflicting data from studies as to an impact on allergic sensitization and asthma.

Methods: Our prospective double-blind study randomly assigned 131 children (6-24 months old) with at least two wheezing episodes and a first-degree family history of atopic disease to 6 months of Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG, 10(10) colony forming units) or placebo. Atopic dermatitis and asthma-related events (e.g. need of inhalation, symptom-free days) were documented throughout the intervention and 6-month follow-up. We determined IgE, a representative panel of specific IgE, eosinophils, eosinophilic cationic protein, and TGF-beta before, at the end of intervention, and after 6 months of follow-up.

Results: There were no significant differences as to atopic dermatitis or asthma-related events. In a subgroup with antecedent allergic sensitizations, asthmatic complaints were even slightly worse. We found fewer sensitizations towards aeroallergens after 6 months of LGG (P=0.027) and after 6 months of follow-up (P=0.03). Supplementation was well-tolerated and no severe adverse events occurred.

Conclusions: In young children with recurrent wheeze and an atopic family history, oral LGG had no clinical effect on atopic dermatitis or asthma-related events, and only mild effects on allergic sensitization. This effect persisted 6 months after the cessation of the supplementation.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00490425.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / therapy*
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Immunization
  • Infant
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus*
  • Male
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00490425