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In developing countries, a significant proportion of children die following prolonged episodes of diarrhoea. The reasons for this poor outcome include undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, stunting and cognitive impairment.1 Currently proposed treatment strategies include fluid replacement and zinc treatment, promotion of early and exclusive breast feeding and vitamin A supplementation, promotion of hand washing using soap, improved water supply and safe storage and community wide sanitation.2 Despite all measures, approximately 3 million disability-adjusted life years lost annually has been associated to persistent diarrhoea.3 Taking into account very high incidence and poor outcome of persistent diarrhoea in developing countries and lack of effective treatment, the authors of this Cochrane review aimed to evaluate the use of probiotics for treating persistent diarrhoea in children.
The authors searched for randomised controlled trials which …
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