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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004 Jul;114(1):131-6.

Lactobacillus GG effect in increasing IFN-gamma production in infants with cow's milk allergy.

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Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki, Finland.



Probiotic bacteria are potentially beneficial to maturation of the infant's immune system.


To examine the role of probiotic bacteria in treatment of cow's milk allergy (CMA) and IgE-associated dermatitis, we investigated the immunologic effects of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) and a mixture of 4 bacterial species (MIX).


In a randomized, double-blind study design, concomitantly with elimination diet and skin treatment, LGG, MIX, or placebo was given for 4 weeks to infants with suspected CMA. After anti-CD3 (OKT3) and anti-CD28 stimulation of PBMCs, IFN-gamma, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-12 levels were measured in culture supernatants by ELISA. Intracellular IFN-gamma, IL-4, and IL-5 production on CD4 lymphocytes was analyzed with fluorescence-activated cell sorting.


Secretion of IFN-gamma by PBMCs before the treatment was significantly lower in infants with CMA (P=.016) and in infants with IgE-associated CMA (P=.003) than in non-CMA infants. Among the infants who received LGG, the level of secreted IFN-gamma increased in those with CMA (P=.006) and in those with IgE-associated dermatitis (P=.017) when compared with the placebo group. Secretion of IL-4 increased significantly in infants with CMA in the MIX (P=.034) but not in the LGG group.


Deficiency in IFN-gamma response appears to be related to CMA. LGG raises IFN-gamma production of PBMC in infants with CMA and in infants with IgE-associated dermatitis and may thus provide beneficial TH1 immunomodulatory signals. MIX, although containing LGG, appears to modulate the immune responses differently.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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