Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 effectively reduces the duration of acute diarrhoea in hospitalised children

Acta Paediatr. 2014 Jul;103(7):e300-5. doi: 10.1111/apa.12617. Epub 2014 Mar 24.


Aim: Guidelines consider certain probiotics useful in the management of acute gastroenteritis. This study evaluated the use of Lactobacillus (L) reuteri DSM 17938.

Methods: A multicentre, randomised, single-blind clinical trial was performed in hospitalised children with acute gastroenteritis lasting 12-72 h. Children received conventional therapy with, or without, 1 × 10(8) CFU of L. reuteri DSM 17938 for 5 days. The primary endpoint was the duration of diarrhoea and secondary outcomes were days of hospitalisation and the percentage of children with diarrhoea after each day of treatment.

Results: We compared 64 children receiving L. reuteri with 63 controls. Lactobacillus reuteri reduced the duration of diarrhoea after 24 h (p < 0.001) and more diarrhoea-free children were seen in the L. reuteri than control group after 24 and 48 h (50% versus 5%, p < 0.001) and 72 h (69% versus 11%, p < 0.001). Lactobacillus reuteri reduced mean hospital stays (4.31 ± 1.3 days versus 5.46 ± 1.77 days, p < 0.001). Prolonged diarrhoea occurred in 17% of the controls, but none of the L. reuteri group. No adverse effects were reported.

Conclusion: Lactobacillus reuteri effectively reduced the duration of acute diarrhoea and hospital stays in children hospitalised with acute gastroenteritis. Outpatient data are now required.

Keywords: (Acute) Gastroenteritis; Diarrhoea; Hospitalisation; Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938; Probiotics.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Diarrhea / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Limosilactobacillus reuteri*
  • Male
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*