The combination of a proton pump inhibitor and two antibiotics (clarithromycin plus amoxicillin or metronidazole) has been the recommended first-line therapy since the first guidelines for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection in children were published. In recent years, the success of eradication therapies has declined, in part due to the development of H. pylori resistant strains. Alternative anti-H. pylori treatments are currently becoming more popular than the traditional eradication methods. Components that may be used either as a monotherapy or, in combination with antimicrobials, resulting in a more effective anti-H. pylori therapy have been investigated in depth by several researchers. One of the potential therapies is probiotic cultures; promising results have been observed in initial studies with numerous probiotic strains. Nevertheless, many questions remain unanswered. In this article, we comprehensively review the possible mechanisms of action of probiotics on H. pylori infection, and present the results of published studies using probiotics as possible agents to control H. pylori infection in children. The effect of the addition of probiotics to the standard H. pylori eradication therapy for the prevention of antibiotic associated side-effects is also discussed.
Keywords: Children; Eradication treatment; Helicobacter pylori; Prevention; Probiotics.