Diarrhea in preschool children and Lactobacillus reuteri: a randomized controlled trial

Pediatrics. 2014 Apr;133(4):e904-9. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-0652. Epub 2014 Mar 17.


Objectives: To evaluate whether daily administration of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 reduces the frequency and duration of diarrheal episodes and other health outcomes in day school children in Mexico.

Methods: Healthy children (born at term, aged 6-36 months) attending day care centers were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. They received L reuteri DSM 17938 (dose 10(8) colony-forming unit; n = 168) or identical placebo (n = 168) by mouth, daily for 3 months, after which they were followed-up after a further 3 months without supplementation.

Results: Data from all children were included in the final analysis. L reuteri DSM 17938 significantly reduced the frequency and duration of episodes of diarrhea and respiratory tract infection at both 3 and 6 months (P < .05). Additionally, the number of doctor visits, antibiotic use, absenteeism from day school and parental absenteeism from work were significantly reduced in the L reuteri group (P < .05). A cost-benefit analysis revealed significant reductions in costs in the L reuteri-treated children. No adverse events related to the study product were reported.

Conclusions: In healthy children attending day care centers, daily administration of L reuteri DSM 17938 had a significant effect in reducing episodes and duration of diarrhea and respiratory tract infection, with consequent cost savings for the community.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01249911.

Keywords: Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938; children; diarrhea.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diarrhea / economics
  • Diarrhea / prevention & control*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus reuteri*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01249911