Many thanks to Girish Deshpande for sending me a link to an Australian news item about probiotics and their use in the preterm, a 2 minute video clip for your edification.
The excellent science blogs ‘Phenomena’ have an article about probiotics, not at all neonatal, but talking about the overall importance of microbiome manipulation for the future.
I spoke about the science of probiotics in Atlanta 2 days ago at the organization of Georgia neonatologists, Annie followed with a talk about the politics of probiotics, which was of course the title of a recent article that we published with John Lantos.
I usually think of the GI microbiome in terms of what bugs are in the colon, this new article (Milisavljevic V, Garg M, Vuletic I, Miller J, Kim L, Cunningham T, Schroder I: Prospective assessment of the gastroesophageal microbiome in vlbw neonates. BMC Pediatrics 2013, 13(1):49). analyzed the microbiome of the stomach and esophagus in very preterm infants in an NICU, many of the samples grew germs and they were not very nice ones. Coagulase negative staph and a range of potentially pathogenic Gram negative organisms were found.
We cannot keep the gut of the preterm baby sterile. Encouraging colonization with good probiotic organisms, several of which, with good quality control, are available in the USA and elsewhere in the world, is both rational and evidence based. ABCDophilus, used in the recently completed and positive ProPrems trial is actually made in the USA.