Effects of Probiotic Intake and Gender on Nontyphoid Salmonella Infection

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Goals:The goal of the study was to examine if intake of Lactobacillus plantarum can accelerate clearance of nontyphoid Salmonella and reduce infection-related symptoms.Background:Nontyphoid Salmonella is a major cause of gastroenteritis worldwide. Few studies have explored the effect of probiotics in these infections.Study:Patients with Salmonella infection were randomized to daily intake of 5×1010 colony forming units of freeze-dried Lactobacillus plantarum 299v or placebo. Symptoms were recorded daily. Feces were cultured weekly. Treatment continued until 4 consecutive stool cultures negative for Salmonella had been obtained.Results:The treatment and placebo groups did not differ significantly with regard to time to clearance of Salmonella, or time to resolution of symptoms. Irrespective of treatment, women tended to clear Salmonella more rapidly than men (19 vs. 28 d, P=0.18), despite a longer diarrheal phase (5 vs. 3 days after inclusion, P=0.001). After Salmonella clearance (postinfectious phase), women experienced loose stools, nausea, and flatulence more frequently than men. In women, L. plantarum treatment was associated with more abdominal pain, whereas in men L. plantarum treatment reduced the prevalence of hard stools, and increased the presence of diarrheal symptoms in the postinfectious phase.Conclusions:Gender, but not administration of the probiotic strain L. plantarum 299v, may influence acute symptoms during Salmonella infection and possibly clearance of Salmonella. Symptoms in the postinfectious phase were modified by the probiotics in a gender-specific way, but our results give little support for positive effects of L. plantarum 299v treatment in nontyphoid salmonellosis.

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