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Table 1 Clinical trials of probiotics and their use in the prevention of pediatric upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs)

From: Do children’s upper respiratory tract infections benefit from probiotics?

Author, year of publication, country Age range No. of subjects Types of probiotic Main results
Caceres et al. [15], 2010, Chile 1-5 years 398 (203 T, 195 P) Milk-based product, L. rhamnosus HN001, about 108 CFUs/mL Non-significant reduction of the number of URTIs per child between groups
Hatakka et al. [16], 2007, Finland 10 months-6 years 309 (155 T, 154 P) Gelatine capsule, a combination of L. rhamnosus GG, ATCC 53103, L. rhamnosus LC 705, Bifidobacterium breve PP, Propionibacterium freudenreichi spp. shermanii IS, 8–9 × 109 CFUs of each strain/capsule Probiotics did not prevent the occurrence of acute otitis media or the nasopharyngeal carriage of otitis pathogens in otitis-prone children; a reduction in the frequency of recurrent respiratory infections was also noted
Hojsak et al. [17], 2010, Croatia 13 months-7 years 281 (139 T, 142 P) Fermented milk product, L. rhamnosus strain GG, 109 CFUs L. rhamnosus GG decreased the risk of nosocomial gastro-intestinal and respiratory tract infections in pediatric facilities
Hojsak et al. [18], 2010, Croatia >12 months 742 (376 T, 366 P) Fermented milk product, L. rhamnosus strain GG, 109 CFUs L. rhamnosus GG decreased the risk of upper respiratory tract infections in children attending day care centres
Merenstein et al. [19], 2010, USA 3-6 years 638 (314 T, 324 P) L. casei DN-114 001/CNCM I-1518 (also called L. paracasei subsp. paracasei in the current nomen-clature), 1 × 108 CFUs/g, Streptococcus thermophilus and L. bulgaricus, 10 × 7 CFUs/g Probiotics reduced the overall incidence of common infectious diseases
Rautava et al. [20], Finland 0-2 months 81 (38 T, 43 P) L. rhamnosus and B. lactis BB-12, 1 × 1010 CFUs Probiotics reduced the risk of early acute otitis media, antibiotic use and recurrent respiratory infections during the first year of life
Rio et al. [21], 2009, Argentina 6-24 months 100 (50 T, 50 P) Fermented milk products, L. acidophilus and L. casei, 107 to 108/mL Live Lactobacillus supplement suppressed pneumonia and decreased bronchitis in both undernourished and normal subjects
  1. CFUs: colony-forming units; P: placebo; T: treatment.