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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010 Jun;50(6):619-24. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3181bbf53d.

Efficacy of Lactobacillus GG in aboriginal children with acute diarrhoeal disease: a randomised clinical trial.

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  • 1Infectious Diseases Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, Australia.



The effectiveness of probiotic therapy for acute rotavirus infectious diarrhoea in an indigenous setting with bacterial/parasitic diarrhoea is unclear. In the present study, we assessed the efficacy of probiotics in Australian Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory admitted to hospital with diarrhoeal disease.


A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study was conducted in Aboriginal children (ages 4 months-2 years), admitted to hospital with acute diarrhoeal disease (>3 loose stools per day). Children received either oral Lactobacillus GG (5 x 10(9) colony-forming units 3 times per day for 3 days; n = 33) or placebo (n = 31). Small intestinal functional capacity was assessed by the noninvasive 13C-sucrose breath test on days 1 and 4.


Both groups showed mean improvement in the sucrose breath test after 4 days; however, there was no difference (mean, 95% confidence interval) between probiotic (2.9 [cumulative percentage of dose recovered at 90 minutes]; 1.7-4.2) and placebo (3.7; 2.3-5.2) groups. Probiotics did not change the duration of diarrhoea, total diarrhoea stools, or diarrhoea score compared with placebo. There was a significant (P < 0.05) difference in diarrhoea frequency on day 2 between probiotics (3.3 [loose stools]; 2.5-4.3) and placebo (4.7; 3.8-5.7) groups.


Lactobacillus GG did not appear to enhance short-term recovery following acute diarrhoeal illness in this setting.

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