Perinatal Probiotic Supplementation in the Prevention of Allergy Related Disease: 6 Year Follow Up of a Randomised Controlled Trial

Melanie Rae Simpson; Christian Kvikne Dotterud; Ola Storrø; Roar Johnsen; Torbjørn Øien


BMC Dermatol. 2015;15(13) 

In This Article


Background: Perinatal probiotics supplementation has been shown to be effective in the primary prevention of atopic dermatitis (AD) in early childhood, although the long term effects of probiotics on AD and other allergic diseases is less certain. We have previously reported a significant reduction in the cumulative incidence of AD at 2 years after maternal probiotic supplementation. In this study we present the effects of perinatal probiotics given to women from a general population on allergy related diseases in their offspring at 6 years.

Methods: Four hundred and fifteen pregnant women were randomised to receive probiotic or placebo milk in a double-blinded trial from 36 week gestation until 3 months postpartum. Probiotic milk contained Lactobacillus rhamnosos GG, L. acidophilus La-5 and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bb-12. At 6 years, children were re-assessed for AD, atopic sensitisation, asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (ARC).

Results: At 6 years, 81 and 82 children were assessed for AD in the probiotic and placebo groups, respectively. In a multiple imputation analysis, there was as trend towards a lower cumulative incidence of AD in the probiotic group compared to the placebo group (OR 0.64, 95 % CI 0.39–1.07, p = 0.086; NNT = 10). This finding was statistically significantly in the complete case analysis (OR 0.48, 95 % CI 0.25–0.92, p = 0.027, NNT = 6). The prevalence of asthma and atopic sensitisation, and the cumulative incidence of ARC were not significantly affected by the probiotic regime at 6 years of age.

Conclusions Maternal probiotic ingestion alone may be sufficient for long term reduction in the cumulative incidence of AD, but not other allergy related diseases.