Use of Lactobacillus casei subspecies Rhamnosus GG and gastrointestinal colonization by Candida species in preterm neonates.
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2007 Dec;45 Suppl 3:S190-4. PMID: 18185091
Departments of Neonatology, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, S. Anna Hospital, Turin, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Candida species increasingly cause morbidity and mortality in the premature infant in neonatal intensive care units, and the gut reservoir is the site from which dissemination most frequently starts in such patients. Specific antifungal prophylaxis is the most suitable strategy with which to limit the severity and the frequent neurodevelopmental impairment in survivors that is associated with neonatal invasive fungal infections. Recent interest has focused on the use of probiotics for the treatment of several diseases in neonatal patients. Pilot studies have implicated these organisms in necrotizing enterocolitis, sepsis, and urinary tract infections. Other applications of probiotic therapy in preterm neonates may also include the prevention of fungal colonization and of Candida-related disorders. Probiotics could provide an innovative and less invasive approach because they modify the bowel flora by colonizing the gastrointestinal tract. Basic research has shown that in mice models, the Lactobacillus casei subsp Rhamnosus GG (LGG) is effective in preventing Candida gut colonization and systemic dissemination. A pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in human preterm neonates has demonstrated that LGG administered in the first month of life significantly reduces enteric Candida colonization. The present article summarizes the state of the art about probiotics and Candida-related diseases in the preterm neonate and emphasizes the need for further investigations to determine unequivocally the possible role of LGG in the prevention and management of the fungal diseases in preterm neonates.