To evaluate the efficacy of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 for the prevention of nosocomial (hospital-acquired) diarrhoea, 106 children (aged 1-48 months) admitted to the hospital for reasons other than diarrhoea were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebocontrolled trial. The children received either Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 at a dose of 10^8 CFU (n=54) or a placebo (n=52) orally, once daily for the duration of their hospital stay.
Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 did not significantly affect the risk of developing nosocomial diarrhoea, defined as 3 loose or watery stools per day in a 24 hour period that occurred >72 hours after admission (risk ratio 1.06, 95% CI 0.7–1.5) or rotavirus infection (1.04, 0.6-1.6). There was also no difference between the probiotic and placebo groups for any of the other secondary outcomes (incidence of rotavirus infection, incidence of diarrhoea, duration of diarrhoea, incidence of recurrent diarrhoea, incidence of chronic diarrhoea, length of hospital stay and frequency of need for rehydration). No adverse events were reported.
In hospitalized children, the administration of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 compared with placebo had no effect on the overall incidence of nosocomial diarrhoea, including rotavirus infection.