A protective effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 against eczema in the first 2 years of life persists to age 4 years

Clin Exp Allergy. 2012 Jul;42(7):1071-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2012.03975.x.


Background: Using a double blind randomized placebo-controlled trial (Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12607000518460), we have shown that in a high risk birth cohort, maternal supplementation from 35 weeks gestation until 6 months if breastfeeding and infant supplementation until 2 years with Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 (HN001) (6 × 10(9) cfu/day) halved the cumulative prevalence of eczema by age 2 years. Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis HN019 (HN019) (9 × 10(9) cfu/day) had no effect.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the associations of HN001 and HN019 with allergic disease and atopic sensitization among these children at age 4 years, 2 years after stopping probiotic supplementation.

Methods: The presence (UK Working Party's Diagnostic Criteria) and severity SCORing Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) of eczema and atopy (skin prick tests) and parent-reported symptoms of asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis were assessed using standard protocols and questions.

Results: Four-hundred and seventy-four infants were eligible at birth of whom 425 (90%) participated in this follow-up. The cumulative prevalence of eczema by 4 years (Hazard ratio (HR) 0.57 (95% CI 0.39-0.83)) and prevalence of rhinoconjunctivitis at 4 years (Relative risk 0.38 (95% CI 0.18-0.83)) were significantly reduced in the children taking HN001; there were also nonsignificant reductions in the cumulative prevalence of SCORAD ≥ 10 (HR 0.74 (95% CI 0.52-1.05), wheeze (HR 0.79 (95% CI 0.59-1.07)) and atopic sensitization (HR = 0.72 (95% CI 0.48-1.06)). HN019 did not affect the prevalence of any outcome.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: This study showed that the protective effect of HN001 against eczema, when given for the first 2 years of life only, extended to at least 4 years of age. This, together with our findings for a protective effect against rhinoconjunctivitis, suggests that this probiotic might be an appropriate preventative intervention for high risk infants.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Breast Feeding
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eczema / epidemiology
  • Eczema / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Prevalence
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*
  • Probiotics / adverse effects
  • Time Factors