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Caries Res. 2012;46(1):69-77. doi: 10.1159/000335567. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 administration in early childhood: a randomized clinical trial of effects on oral colonization by mutans streptococci and the probiotic.

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Korpilahti-Muurame Health Care Center, Muurame, Finland.


A randomized clinical trial studied the effects of early administration of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 (BB-12) on oral colonization of (1) mutans streptococci (MS), and (2) BB-12. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, infants (n = 106) received probiotic bacteria (BB-12 group), xylitol (X group), or sorbitol (S group). Test tablets were administered twice a day (from the age of 1-2 months) with a novel slow-release pacifier or a spoon (daily dose of BB-12 10(10) CFU, polyol 200-600 mg). Samples were collected from mucosa/teeth at the age of 8 months and 2 years for BB- 12 determination (qPCR) and plate culturing of MS (MSB, TYCSB), lactobacilli (Rogosa) and yeasts (Sabouraud). The MS levels of the mothers were determined (Dentocult SM Strip Mutans). The baseline characteristics of the three groups were similar. Mean duration of tablet delivery was 14.9 ± 6.7 months. In all groups, >90% of the mothers showed high MS counts (log CFU ≥5). MS colonization percentages of the children at the age of 2 years were rather low (BB-12 group: 6%; X group: 31%; S group: 10%; p < 0.05). The levels of lactobacilli and yeasts did not differ between the groups. BB-12 cell counts barely exceeding the detection limit were found in three of the oral samples of the 8-month-old children; however, the 2-year samples did not contain BB-12. The early administration of BB-12 did not result in permanent oral colonization of this probiotic or significantly affect MS colonization in the children.

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