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Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2016 Jun;12(6):625-39. doi: 10.1586/1744666X.2016.1147955. Epub 2016 Mar 4.

Probiotics for treatment and primary prevention of allergic diseases and asthma: looking back and moving forward.

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a International Inflammation (in-FLAME) network of the World Universities Network.
b Department of Clinical Sciences, Pediatrics , Umeå University , Umeå , Sweden.
c Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine , Linköping University , Linköping , Sweden.
d Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry , University of Alberta , Edmonton , Canada.
e School of Paediatrics and Child Health , University of Western Australia, Princess Margaret Hospital , Perth , WA , Australia.


Microbial ecosystems cover the surface of the human body and it is becoming increasingly clear that our modern environment has profound effects on microbial composition and diversity. A dysbiotic gut microbiota has been associated with allergic diseases and asthma in cross-sectional and observational studies. In an attempt to restore this dysbiosis, probiotics have been evaluated in randomized controlled trials. Here, we review treatment and primary prevention studies, recent meta-analyses, and discuss the current understanding of the role of probiotics in this context. Many meta-analyses have shown a moderate benefit of probiotics for eczema prevention, whereas there is less evidence of a benefit for other allergic manifestations. Because of very low quality evidence and heterogeneity between studies, specific advice on the most effective regimens cannot yet be given - not even for eczema prevention. To be able to adopt results into specific recommendations, international expert organizations stress the need for well-designed studies.


Diversity; dysbiosis; eczema; gut microbiome; hygiene hypothesis; primary prevention; probiotic

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