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Benef Microbes. 2013 Dec 1;4(4):329-34. doi: 10.3920/BM2013.0008.

Prevention and treatment of diarrhoea with Saccharomyces boulardii in children with acute lower respiratory tract infections.

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Department of Pediatric Pneumology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang 110004, China.


The aim of this study was to determine whether Saccharomyces boulardii prevents and treats diarrhoea and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD) in children. A total of 333 hospitalised children with acute lower respiratory tract infection were enrolled in a 2-phase open randomised controlled trial. During the 1st phase, all children received intravenous antibiotics (AB). They were randomly allocated to group A (S. boulardii 500 mg/day + AB, n=167) or group B (AB alone, n=166) and followed for 2 weeks. Diarrhoea was defined as ≥3 loose/watery stools/day during at least 2 days, occurring during treatment and/or up to 2 weeks after AB therapy had stopped. AAD was considered when diarrhoea was caused by Clostridium difficile or when stool cultures remained negative. In the 2nd phase of the study, group B patients who developed diarrhoea were randomly allocated to two sub-groups: group B1 (S. boulardii + oral rehydration solution (ORS)) and group B2 (ORS alone). Data from 283 patients were available for analysis. Diarrhoea prevalence was lower in group A than in group B (11/139 (7.9%) vs. 42/144 (29.2%); relative risk (RR): 0.27, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.1-0.5). S. boulardii reduced the risk of AAD (6/139 (4.3%) vs. 28/144 (19.4%); RR: 0.22; 95% CI: 0.1-0.5). When group B patients developed diarrhoea (n=42), S. boulardii treatment during 5 days (group B1) resulted in lower stool frequency (P<0.05) and higher recovery rate (91.3% in group B1 vs. 21.1% in B2; P<0.001). The mean duration of diarrhoea in group B1 was shorter (2.31±0.95 vs. 8.97±1.07 days; P<0.001). No adverse effects related to S. boulardii were observed. S. boulardii appeared to be effective in the prevention and treatment of diarrhoea and AAD in children treated with intravenous antibiotics.


Clostridium difficile; Saccharomyces boulardii; acute lower respiratory tract infection; antibiotic-associated diarrhoea; hospitalised children

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