This was a controlled, randomised, single-blinded, multi-centre study in 127 children, 3-60 months, and hospitalised for acute diarrhoea lasting 12-72 hours.
The study objective was to assess the effect of L. reuteri DSM 17938 (Protectis) on children hospitalised with acute non-bloody diarrhoea (acute gastroenteritis), as an adjunct to rehydration treatment.
The patients received five drops per day (10^8 CFU) of L. reuteri Protectis (n=64), for 5 days, as an adjunct to, or ORS / intravenous rehydration alone.
Primary outcome was measured as duration of diarrhoea (hours).
Secondary outcomes was measured as duration of hospitalisation (days), number of children with diarrhoea on each of the study days, proportion of children with prolonged diarrhoea and frequency of daily stools.
Results showed that duration of diarrhoea was reduced by 33 hours compared to the control group. The advantageous L. reuteri Protectis effect was seen already 24 hours after start of intervention. The mean length of hospital stay was shortened by 1.2 days compared to the control group and prolonged diarrhoea after 7 days was only observed in the control group.
Lactobacillus reuteri effectively reduced the duration of acute diarrhoea and hospital stay in children hospitalised with acute gastroenteritis.