OBJECTIVE: The incidence of nosocomial infections, predominantly gastrointestinal and respiratory, in children in developed countries is high, ranging from 5% to 44%. There is no effective strategy for preventing these infections. The objective of our study was to investigate the role ofLactobacillusGG (LGG) in preventing nosocomial gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections at a pediatric hospital.
METHODS: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 742 hospitalized children. They were randomly allocated to receive for their hospitalization LGG at a dose of 109 colony-forming units in 100 mL of a fermented milk product (LGG group, n = 376) or placebo that was the same postpasteurized fermented milk product without LGG (placebo group, n = 366).
RESULTS: In the LGG group, compared with the placebo group, we found a significantly reduced risk for gastrointestinal infections (relative risk [RR]: 0.40 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.25–0.70]; number needed to treat: 15 [95% CI: 9–34)], respiratory tract infections (RR: 0.38 [95% CI: 0.18–0.85]; number needed to treat: 30 [95% CI: 16–159]), vomiting episodes (RR: 0.5 [95% CI: 0.3–0.9]), diarrheal episodes (RR: 0.24 [95% CI: 0.10–0.50]), episodes of gastrointestinal infections that lasted >2 days (RR: 0.40 [95% CI: 0.25–0.70]), and episodes of respiratory tract infections that lasted >3 days (RR: 0.4 [95% CI: 0.2–0.9]). Groups did not differ in hospitalization duration (P = .1).
CONCLUSIONS: LGG administration can be recommended as a valid measure for decreasing the risk for nosocomial gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections in pediatric facilities.