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Pediatr Res. 2015 Feb;77(2):381-8. doi: 10.1038/pr.2014.192. Epub 2014 Nov 25.

Probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium infantis) prevent NEC in VLBW infants fed breast milk but not formula [corrected].

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Division of Neonatology, Pediatric Intensive Care and Neuropediatrics, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
2
Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Wilheminen Hospital Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
3
Department of Radiology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Specific probiotics prevent necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). A mixture of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria (Infloran) was highly effective in Asian very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants. We analyzed the effect of Infloran on NEC, NEC severity, and the influence of enteral feedings (breast milk vs. formula) on NEC prevention in a cohort of European VLBW infants.

METHODS:

Infloran was implemented for routine use at our department. VLBW infants receiving probiotics were prospectively followed (2010-2012) and compared with historic controls (2008-2009). Data on NEC, neonatal morbidity, feeding tolerance, and descriptive parameters on NEC cases were analyzed.

RESULTS:

Infloran had no statistically significant impact on NEC (controls: 24/233 (10.3%); probiotics: 16/230 (7%); P = 0.2). However, NEC was significantly reduced in infants of the probiotics group who were fed any breast milk (20/179 (11.2%) vs. 10/183 (5.5%); P = 0.027), whereas it was ineffective in infants exclusively fed formula (4/54 (7.4%) vs. 6/44 (13.6%); P = 0.345). Occurrence of severe NEC (IIIb), time until full feeds, and gastric residuals were similar.

CONCLUSION:

Infloran was of lower efficacy in a European VLBW cohort and showed a reduction of NEC only in infants fed breast milk. Future studies should investigate the influence of feeding formula or breast milk on the effect of probiotics.

PMID:
25423074
DOI:
10.1038/pr.2014.192
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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