Probiotic bacteria are proposed to alleviate intestinal inflammation in infants with atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS) and food allergy. In such infants we investigated effects of probiotic bacteria on faecal IgA, and on the intestinal inflammation markers tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), alpha1-antitrypsin (AT), and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP). A total of 230 infants with AEDS and suspected cow's milk allergy (CMA) received in a randomized double-blinded manner, concomitant with elimination diet, Lactobacillus GG (LGG), a mixture of four probiotic strains (MIX), or placebo for 4 wk. Four weeks after treatment, CMA was diagnosed with a double-blind placebo-controlled milk challenge. Faecal samples of 102 infants, randomly chosen for analysis, were collected before treatment, after 4-wk treatment, and on the first day of milk challenge. After treatment, IgA levels tended to be higher in probiotic groups than in the placebo group (LGG vs. placebo, p=0.064; MIX vs. placebo, p=0.064), and AT decreased in the LGG group, but not in other treatment groups. After challenge in IgE-associated CMA infants, faecal IgA was higher for LGG than for placebo (p=0.014), and TNF-alpha was lower for LGG than for placebo, but non-significantly (p=0.111). In conclusion, 4-wk treatment with LGG may alleviate intestinal inflammation in infants with AEDS and CMA.
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