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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Sep;44(6):568-75. doi: 10.1111/apt.13740. Epub 2016 Jul 28.

Randomised clinical trial: a Lactobacillus GG and micronutrient-containing mixture is effective in reducing nosocomial infections in children, vs. placebo.

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Department of Translational Medical Science, Section of Pediatrics, University Federico II, Naples, Italy.
Department of Public Health, University Federico II, Naples, Italy.
Department of Pediatrics, AORN Santobono-Pausilipon, Naples, Italy.



Nosocomial infections are a major public health issue and preventative strategies using probiotics and micronutrients are being evaluated.


To investigate the efficacy of a mixture of Lactobacillus GG and micronutrients in preventing nosocomial infections in children.


A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in hospitalised children. Children (6 months to 5 years of age) received Lactobacillus GG (6 × 10(9) CFU/day) together with vitamins B and C and zinc or placebo, for 15 days, starting on the first day of hospitalisation. The incidence of gastrointestinal and respiratory nosocomial infections after discharge was determined by follow-up telephone call at 7 days. After 3 months, another telephone call estimated the incidence of further infections during follow-up.


Ninety children completed the follow-up. Of 19/90 children with a nosocomial infection (20%), 4/45 children (9%) were in the treatment group and 15/45 (33%) in the placebo group (P = 0.016). Specifically, 2/45 (4%) children in the treatment group vs. 11/45 (24%) children in the placebo group (P = 0.007) presented with diarrhoea. The duration of hospitalisation was significantly shorter in the treatment group (3.9 days ± 1.7 vs. 4.9 ± 1.2; P = 0.003). At the follow-up, a total of 11/45 (24.4%) children in the treatment group had at least one episode of infection compared to 22/45 (48.9%) in the placebo group (P = 0.016).


A mixture containing Lactobacillus GG and micronutrients may reduce the incidence of nosocomial infections, supporting the hypothesis that this may represent a valid strategy to prevent nosocomial infections.

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