Evaluating probiotics for the prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia: a randomised placebo-controlled multicentre trial protocol and statistical analysis plan for PROSPECT

BMJ Open. 2019 Jun 20;9(6):e025228. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025228.


Introduction: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is the most common healthcare-associated infection in critically ill patients. Prior studies suggest that probiotics may reduce VAP and other infections in critically ill patients; however, most previous randomised trials were small, single centre studies. The Probiotics: Prevention of Severe Pneumonia and Endotracheal Colonization Trial (PROSPECT) aims to determine the impact of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG on VAP and other clinically important outcomes in critically ill adults.

Methods: PROSPECT is a multicentre, concealed, randomised, stratified, blinded, controlled trial in patients ≥18 years old, anticipated to be mechanically ventilated ≥72 hours, in intensive care units (ICUs) in Canada, the USA and Saudi Arabia. Patients receive either 1×1010 colony forming units of L. rhamnosus GG twice daily or an identical appearing placebo. Those at increased risk of probiotic infection are excluded. The primary outcome is VAP. Secondary outcomes are other ICU-acquired infections including Clostridioides difficile infection, diarrhoea (including antibiotic-associated diarrhoea), antimicrobial use, ICU and hospital length of stay and mortality. The planned sample size of 2650 patients is based on an estimated 15% VAP rate and will provide 80% power to detect a 25% relative risk reduction.

Ethics and dissemination: This protocol and statistical analysis plan outlines the methodology, primary and secondary analyses, sensitivity analyses and subgroup analyses. PROSPECT is approved by Health Canada (#9427-M1133-45C), the research ethics boards of all participating hospitals and Public Health Ontario. Results will be disseminated via academic channels (peer reviewed journal publications, professional healthcare fora including international conferences) and conventional and social media. The results of PROSPECT will inform practice guidelines worldwide.

Trialregistration number: NCT02462590; Pre-results.

Keywords: critically ill; infection; intensive care; probiotics; ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada
  • Clinical Protocols*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated / prevention & control*
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United States

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02462590

Grant support