Objectives: The aim of the study was to examine the effects of a follow-on formula containing Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716 (L. fermentum) on the incidence of infections in infants between the ages of 6 and 12 months.
Patients and methods: A randomized double-blinded controlled study including infants at the age of 6 months was conducted. Infants were assigned randomly to either follow-on formula supplemented with L. fermentum plus galactooligosaccharide (experimental group, EG), or the same formula supplemented with only galactooligosaccharide (control group, CG). The main outcome was the incidence of infections for the 6-month duration of the study.
Results: The EG showed a significant 46% reduction in the incidence rate (IR) of gastrointestinal infections (EG: 0.196 ± 0.51, CG: 0.363 ± 0.53, IR ratio 0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.307-0.950, P = 0.032), 27% reduction in the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections (EG: 0.969 ± 0.96, CG: 1.330 ± 1.23, IR ratio 0.729, 95% CI 0.46-1.38, P = 0.026), and 30% reduction in the total number of infections (EG: 1.464 ± 1.15, CG: 2.077 ± 1.59, IR ratio 0.70, 95% CI 0.46-1.38, P = 0.003), at the end of the study period compared with CG.
Conclusions: Administration of a follow-on formula with L. fermentum CECT5716 may be useful for the prevention of community-acquired gastrointestinal and upper respiratory infections.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01215656.