Efficacy of Lactobacillus GG in aboriginal children with acute diarrhoeal disease: A randomised clinical trial

Brett Ritchie, David Brewster, Cuong Tran, Geoffrey Davidson, Yvette McNeil, Ross Butler

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    OBJECTIVE: The effectiveness of probiotic therapy for acute rotavirus infectious diarrhoea in an indigenous setting with bacterial/parasitic diarrhoea is unclear. In the present study, we assessed the efficacy of probiotics in Australian Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory admitted to hospital with diarrhoeal disease.

    PATIENTS AND METHODS: A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study was conducted in Aboriginal children (ages 4 months–2 years), admitted to hospital with acute diarrhoeal disease (>3 loose stools per day). Children received either oral Lactobacillus GG (5 × 109 colony-forming units 3 times per day for 3 days; n = 33) or placebo (n = 31). Small intestinal functional capacity was assessed by the noninvasive 13C-sucrose breath test on days 1 and 4.

    RESULTS: Both groups showed mean improvement in the sucrose breath test after 4 days; however, there was no difference (mean, 95% confidence interval) between probiotic (2.9 [cumulative percentage of dose recovered at 90 minutes]; 1.7-4.2) and placebo (3.7; 2.3-5.2) groups. Probiotics did not change the duration of diarrhoea, total diarrhoea stools, or diarrhoea score compared with placebo. There was a significant (P < 0.05) difference in diarrhoea frequency on day 2 between probiotics (3.3 [loose stools]; 2.5-4.3) and placebo (4.7; 3.8-5.7) groups.

    CONCLUSIONS: Lactobacillus GG did not appear to enhance short-term recovery following acute diarrhoeal illness in this setting.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)619-624
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


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