Introduction: Probiotics have demonstrated potential to reduce duration of diarrhoea and frequency of watery stools. Probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum (Infloran(®)) are usually maintained at a storage temperature of 4°C which is generally not feasible in tropical or sub-tropical countries.
Aim: The efficacy of Infloran(®) for treatment of acute diarrhoea when stored at 28-32°C (room temperature) was evaluated.
Methods: This was a double-blind, randomised study of infants and children aged 2 months to 7 years with acute diarrhoea. Patients were randomly assigned to receive Infloran(®) stored at 4°C, at room temperature, or to a placebo group. Duration of diarrhoea was a primary outcome, while the number of stools, hospital stay and requirement for rehydration fluid were secondary outcomes.
Results: Probiotics shortened duration of diarrhoea (34.1 and 34.8 hrs when stored either at 4°C or at room temperature, respectively, and 58 hrs with placebo, p<0.01) and reduced the number of stools (7.3 and 8 vs 15.9 with placebo, p<0.01).
Conclusion: Administration of probiotics is beneficial as additional treatment of acute diarrhoea and efficacy is not affected by storage temperature.