Accumulated evidences support the fetus's intestinal flora unbalance is associated with the development of allergic diseases. Probiotic supplements in pregnancy and childhood might prevent atopic diseases. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the effect of probiotic supplementation during pregnancy and early infancy in preventing eczema, atopic eczema, and other allergic diseases. We also explored whether different probiotic strains or intervention objects affected the antiallergic effect of probiotics and the prevention atopy effect of the long-term period. Fixed-effect models were used, and random-effects models where significant heterogeneity was present. Results were expressed as odds ratios (ORs) with a 95% confidence interval (CI). Twenty-one studies were included in the meta-analysis. The probiotics group had a significantly lower risk of eczema and atopic eczema compared to controls, especially those treated with probiotic combinations. Mothers' probiotics intake significantly contributed to reducing the risk of eczema as well as atopic eczema. What's more, probiotics seemed effective on eczema prevention ≤2 years of age, but against atopic eczema after 1 of age year. No significant difference in terms of prevention of asthma, rhinitis, wheeze, allergic diseases and sensation. In brief, a probiotic supplement is expected to become a novel potential strategy for infant eczema and atopic eczema.
Keywords: Probiotic; allergic diseases; children; eczema; meta-analysis; prevention.