A prospective, randomised and placebo-controlled study of 40 children, aged 6–36 months, who were hospitalised due to acute diarrhoea (caused by rotavirus in 75%).
The children receiving active treatment were given Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 in a daily dose of 10^10–10^11 CFU for up to 5 days (n=19). The Lactobacillus reuteri group and the placebo group (n=21) both received standard rehydration therapy. A significant effect was apparent from the second day of treatment, when 74% of the children in the active group were free from watery diarrhoea, as opposed to 19% of the children in the control group.
Conclusion: Lactobacillus reuteri appears to be a promising therapeutic agent for treatment of acute gastroentiritis, particularly rotavirus-associated disease, in young children. The therapeutic potential should be explored futher for possible practical clinical applications. In addition, Lactobacillus reuteri may have other beneficial health effects, including prevention of diarrheal disease.