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Probiotics in Childhood: Allergic Illness and Respiratory Infections

del Giudice, Michele Miraglia MD*; Leonardi, Salvatore MD; Ciprandi, Giorgio MD; Galdo, Francesca MD*; Gubitosi, Adelmo MD*; La Rosa, Mario MD; Salpietro, Carmelo MD§; Marseglia, Gianluigi MD; Perrone, Laura MD*

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: October 2012 - Volume 46 - Issue - p S69–S72
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e318266fea7

Over the last decade, there has been a growing interest in the use of probiotics for allergic diseases. In the last years, some studies showed a significant improvement for atopic eczema by the administration of probiotics during pregnancy and postnatally. About food allergy, probiotics administration seems to be effective in the management of food allergy symptoms but has no effect on the prevention of sensitization. In the international literature, there are few studies that evaluated the probiotic effect on allergic rhinitis, and authors reported that probiotics might have a beneficial effect in AR by reducing symptom severity and medication use. Another major potential benefit of probiotics has been suggested in patients with asthma. On this topic, several studies have been carried out using different probiotics and the results have not been univocal. Indeed, probiotics seems to be able to offer protection about common cold and respiratory infections in healthy and hospitalized children.

*Department of Pediatrics, “F.Fede,” Second University of Naples, Naples

Department of Pediatrics, University of Catania, Catania

Department of Internal Medicine, AOU San Martino, Genoa

§Department of Pediatrics, Genetics and Immunology Unit, University of Messina, Messina

Department of Pediatrics, Foundation IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, University of Pavia, Pavia, Lombardy, Italy

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Reprints: Michele Miraglia del Giudice, MD, Department of Pediatrics “F.Fede,” Second University of Naples, Via De Crecchio 4-80138-Naples, Italy (e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.