Every minute of every day more and more children die of diarrheal diseases and women, and girls become infected by HIV. An estimated 7,000 women become infected each day. While many valiant efforts are being made to address these issues, until now they have proved to be markedly ineffective. The notion that lactic acid bacteria, formulated into food or dietary supplements, could have a role to play in slowing the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV/AIDS and gastroenteritis, is built upon sound clinical findings and scientific investigations, yet no international efforts have been placed in this approach, to date. We hereby summarize the reasons why such efforts should be made, provide an example of one model being set up in sub-Saharan Africa, and challenge the international community to consider the potential benefits of probiotics, especially for communities not reached by governmental and nongovernmental agencies.
From the *Canadian Research and Development Centre for Probiotics, Lawson Health Research Institute; Departments of †Microbiology and Immunology, and ‡Surgery, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada; §Microbiology Division, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, India; ∥School of Food Biosciences, University of Reading, UK; ¶Kgatleng District Council, Mochudi, Botswana; #Department of Medical Microbiology Dermatology and Infection, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; **Intestinal Microecology Consultant, Reading, UK; and ††Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, University of Benin, Benin, Nigeria.
Received for publication September 7, 2004; accepted December 15, 2004.
This paper emerged from a meeting of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics held in London, England in August 2003.
Reprints: Gregor Reid, PhD, Canadian Research and Development Centre for Probiotics, Lawson Health Research Institute, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, Ontario N6A 4V2, Canada (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).