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Randomised controlled trial
Lactobacillus reuteri is an effective option for the prevention of diarrhoea in preschool children but may not be cost-effective in all settings
  1. Yvan Vandenplas
  1. Department of Pediatrics, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Yvan Vandenplas, Department of Pediatrics, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090 Brussels, Belgium; yvan.vandenplas{at}

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Diarrhoea remains a serious health burden for young children worldwide, with a high incidence of morbidity and mortality in the developing world. Oral rehydration solution dramatically improves outcomes, but does not influence the duration of diarrhoea. Selected probiotic strains have been shown to reduce the duration of acute gastroenteritis by around 24 h.1 Gutierrez-Castrellon and colleagues set out to evaluate whether probiotics administered in prevention could reduce the incidence of infectious gastroenteritis.


Much attention has been paid to the study design by the authors. The probiotics and placebo arms were identical, except for the presence of the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri, given daily over 12 weeks to …

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  • Competing interests YV is a consultant for Biocodex and United Pharmaceuticals.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.