Probiotics-containing yogurts suppress Helicobacter pylori load and modify immune response and intestinal microbiota in the Helicobacter pylori-infected children

Helicobacter. 2012 Aug;17(4):297-304. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-5378.2012.00941.x. Epub 2012 Mar 20.


Background: The benefits of probiotics to the pediatric Helicobacter pylori infection remain uncertain. We tested whether the H. pylori-infected children have an altered gut microflora, and whether probiotics-containing yogurt can restore such change and improve their H. pylori-related immune cascades.

Methods: We prospectively included 38 children with H. pylori infection confirmed by a positive ¹³C-urea breath test (UBT) and 38 age- and sex-matched noninfected controls. All of them have provided the serum and stool samples before and after 4-week ingestion of probiotics-containing yogurt. The serum samples were tested for the TNF-α, IL-10, IL-6, immunoglobulin (Ig) A, G, E, pepsinogens I and II levels. The stool samples were tested for the colony counts of Bifidobacterium spp. and Escherichia coli. The follow-up UBT indirectly assessed the H. pylori loads after yogurt usage.

Results: The H. pylori-infected children had lower fecal Bifidobacterium spp. count (p = .009), Bifidobacterium spp./E. coli ratio (p = .04), serum IgA titer (p = .04), and pepsinogens I/II ratio (p < .001) than in controls. In the H. pylori-infected children, 4-week yogurt ingestion reduced the IL-6 level (p < .01) and H. pylori loads (p = .046), but elevated the serum IgA and pepsinogen II levels (p < .001). Moreover, yogurt ingestion can improve the childhood fecal Bifidobacterium spp./E. coli ratio (p = .03).

Conclusions: The H. pylori-infected children have a lower Bifidobacterium microflora in gut. The probiotics-containing yogurt can offer benefits to restore Bifidobacterium spp./E. coli ratio in children and suppress the H. pylori load with increment of serum IgA but with reduction in IL-6 in H. pylori-infected children.

MeSH terms

  • Bifidobacterium / genetics
  • Bifidobacterium / isolation & purification
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / drug therapy*
  • Helicobacter Infections / immunology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Helicobacter pylori / drug effects*
  • Helicobacter pylori / physiology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / immunology
  • Interleukin-6 / immunology
  • Intestines / drug effects
  • Intestines / immunology
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Metagenome / drug effects*
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology
  • Yogurt / analysis*


  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-10