Probiotic administration in congenital heart disease: a pilot study

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the impact of probiotic Bifidobacterium longum ssp. infantis on the fecal microbiota and plasma cytokines in neonates with congenital heart disease.

STUDY DESIGN:

Sixteen infants with congenital heart disease were randomly assigned to receive either B. infantis (4.2 × 109 colonyforming units two times daily) or placebo for 8 weeks. Stool specimens from enrolled infants and from six term infants without heart disease were analyzed for microbial composition. Plasma cytokines were analyzed weekly in the infants with heart disease.

RESULTS:

Healthy control infants had increased total bacteria, total Bacteroidetes and total bifidobacteria compared to the infants with heart disease, but there were no significant differences between the placebo and probiotic groups. Plasma interleukin (IL)10, interferon (IFN)γ and IL1β levels were transiently higher in the probiotic group.

CONCLUSION:

Congenital heart disease in infants is associated with dysbiosis. Probiotic B. infantis did not significantly alter the fecal microbiota. Alterations in plasma cytokines were found to be inconsistent.

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