Role of probiotics in clinical course and outcome of preterm neonates

Ram Mohan G., Majaz Ahmed Khan, Seshagiri G., Pavithra V., Ramya C.


Background: In a quest to improve the outcome of preterm neonates and to reduce neonatal mortality a lot of research has been done in the field of neonatology; one such intervention is the use of probiotics. We evaluated the role of probiotics in reducing the incidence and severity of NEC, sepsis, hyperbilirubinemia and in improving enteral feeds in preterms.

Methods: A prospective randomized control trial was conducted in preterm neonates <37 weeks of gestation from December 2017 to November 2019. They were randomized into test and control groups. The neonates in the test group were fed with probiotics with breast milk twice daily till they reach full feeds. Babies in the control group were fed with breast milk alone. Various parameters were compared between two groups like incidence of NEC, sepsis etc.

Results: Sixty preterm neonates were enrolled, 30 in the test group and 30 in the control group. The demographic and clinical variables were similar in both groups. The incidence of NEC and sepsis in the test group is less compared to the control group. Duration of phototherapy was less in test group (1.10.3 days) compared to control group (1.90.9 days). Duration of hospital stay in test group was less (8.92.1 days) compared to the control group (11.43.7 days).

Conclusions: Prophylactic probiotics have a beneficial role in prevention of NEC and sepsis, reducing duration of phototherapy and duration of hospital stay in preterm neonates.


Probiotics, Preterm neonates, NEC, Sepsis

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