Probiotics and the immunological response to infant vaccinations; a double-blind randomized controlled trial

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Objectives: To examine the effect of a combination of probiotics on the antibody response to pneumococcal and pertussis vaccination in Danish healthy children, aged 8-14 months, at the time of starting day care. Moreover, the cytokine response to LPS of whole blood was assessed.

Methods: A total of 290 children were randomly allocated to receive a combination of Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG daily for a six month intervention period, and blood samples were drawn at start and end of the study. Specific antibody response towards Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes and Bordetella pertussis toxin, as well as endotoxin induced IL-6 and IFN-γ production in blood were analysed by Luminex and ELISA.

Results: There was no significant difference between the average individual changes (AIC) from baseline to end of study in antibody concentrations for S. pneumoniae for both the probiotics (340.4% ± 11.2%) and the placebo group (382.9% ± 10.4%) (p = 0.525), nor for B. pertussis toxin in the two groups (probiotics 190.1% ± 12.6% vs placebo 238.8% ± 1.1%, p = 0.340). The AIC in IL-6 concentration was significantly lower in the probiotics vs. placebo group (2.9% ± 10.3% vs. 33.7% ± 9.0%, p = 0.024), whereas there was no difference in IFN-γ concentration (0.0% ± 0.2% vs. -0.2% ± 0.1%, p = 0.279).

Conclusions: The probiotic intervention did not affect the antibody response against S. pneumoniae and B. pertussis toxin in healthy Danish children.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)511.e1-511.e7
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Cytokine activation, Pertussis, Placebo-controlled study, Pneumococcus, Probiotics, Vaccination response

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