Multi-strain Probiotics are Effective on Children with Respiratory Tract Infections

The Consequences of Respiratory Infections in Infants

The respiratory system is likely to get infections because it is the easiest way for germs to enter the body since we’re constantly breathing in air. Respiratory viruses are responsible for many deaths and hospitalizations in babies; in fact, it’s the second cause of mortality in infants, next to malaria. Most children suffer from respiratory tract infections (RTIs) before they reach two years old, and 25% of them have recurrent or prolonged infections in developed countries.

Respiratory tract infections are often caused by viruses and are further complicated by bacteria. There is also evidence that viruses and bacteria work together to develop oral and respiratory infections. Recurrent infections may result in virus-induced abnormal functioning of the immune system, leading to bacterial superinfections, worsening cough, and increased risk of developing asthma.

Even if the most common cause of RTIs is a virus, antibiotics are still given in about 60-80% of patients, showing that many bacterial superinfections could be due to people taking antibiotics even when unnecessary. Bacterial resistance and imbalanced microbiota can develop when antibiotics are misused, making treatment more difficult. 

This situation can also lead to the reduction of effectiveness of vaccines for viruses. Probiotics can help create a more balanced microbiota and reduce the number of oral and respiratory tract infections. 

Some studies have proven that probiotic prophylaxis significantly reduces both upper respiratory tract infections and the frequency of antibiotic prescriptions for these infections. 

Recent studies reported that the daily administration of the probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 to children was associated with a significant reduction in streptococcal pharyngitis and acute otitis media cases. This establishes a solid link between probiotics administration and oral and respiratory tract infections.

Our study aimed to assess the impact of oral probiotics on acute oral and respiratory tract infections affecting children.

The Study Method of a Probiotic Tablet for Treating Children with Respiratory Tract Infections

This randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled clinical study involved 40 children affected with stomatitis, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, and rhinosinusitis. They were assigned into two groups: Test Group who received probiotics, and Placebo Group who took placebo pills. 

They were given 3 tablets during the first 30 days, then 1 tablet for the next 60 days. Saliva samples were taken at the start and on the 30th and 90th days of the study to evaluate their pH, flow, buffering capacity, and salivary viscosity.

The probiotic tablet used Hyperbiotic PRO-Kids ENT contains several probiotic strains (Streptococcus salivarius K12, Streptococcus salivarius M18, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus sakei, and Lactobacillus paracasei).

The Results

The salivary pH was significantly different in the two study groups. The Test Group had a higher average salivary pH than Group B. This result agrees with our hypothesis that probiotics can help keep oral bacteria and pH stable. A pH of 7 is healthy for teeth and gums, while a pH below 7 can indicate problems.

Moreover, those treated with probiotics had a lower incidence of respiratory infections while the general and respiratory conditions of those in the untreated group had worsened.

The Conclusion

Specific probiotic strains can help prevent or lessen respiratory tract infections in children, and therefore, could be a helpful addition to current therapies for respiratory problems.

Reference

Oral Probiotics Influence Oral and Respiratory Tract Infections in Pediatric Population

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