A prospective, randomised and placebo-controlled study investigating the effect of Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 in children hospitalised with acute diarrhoea (rotavirus in 40%).
Fifty children, aged 6–36 months, were randomised to receive Lactobacillus reuteri twice daily in a dose of 10^8 CFU for the length of the hospital stay or for up to 5 days, or a matching placebo. Both groups received standard rehydration therapy. The mean duration of watery diarrhoea after initiation of therapy was 2.3 days in the Lactobacillus reuteri group vs. 2.9 days in the placebo group.
On the second day of treatment significant differences in effect were shown for: watery diarrhoea (persisted in 64% in the Lactobacillus reuteri group vs. 84% in the placebo group), mean frequency of diarrhoea (1.9 in the Lactobacillus reuteri vs. 3.4 in the placebo group) and vomiting (persistent in 16% in Lactobacillus reuteri group vs. 40% in the placebo group).
Conclusion: Lactobacillus reuteri was effective as a therapeutic agent in children hospitalised with acute diarrhoea.