A new species of probiotic, Lactobacillus plantarum (LRCC5310), was found to inhibit the adherence and proliferation of rotavirus, reduce virus titer, and improve diarrhea and Vesikari score in children hospitalized with rotaviral gastroenteritis, according to results from a study published in Medicine.

The study included children who were admitted for enteritis to 1 of 2 hospitals in South Korea between January 2018 and April 2019 and diagnosed with rotavirus via stool testing on the day of admission. Patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups each comprising 15, 8, and 27 children, respectively. Participants assigned to group 1 received LRCC5310 to improve diarrhea caused by rotavirus enteritis but no other probiotics. Children in group 2, the control group, did not receive any probiotics. Neither group was treated with antiemetic or antidiarrhea drugs.

Medical records of patients hospitalized for rotaviral enteritis at a single hospital during the same period were also retrospectively analyzed (n=27; group 3). Patients in this cohort were treated with a probiotic formulation containing Saccharomyces species. The median age for patients in the LRCC5310, control, and retrospective groups was 36, 14, and 40 months, respectively.


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The investigators compared clinical symptoms between the groups, including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The Vesikari score was also calculated to assess the severity of enteritis during treatment. Additionally, changes in virus multiplication, analyzed by stool testing, were also compared between groups 1 and 2.

Compared with patients who received control, those who received LRCC5310 had statistically significant improvements in diarrhea (P =.033), number of defecation events 3 days after hospitalization (P =.003), and total diarrhea period (P =.012).

The change in Vesikari score was significantly greater in patients assigned to LRCC5310 vs patients in the control group or the retrospective cohort (6 vs 3.5 vs 4, respectively; P =.036). Virus reduction was also greater in patients treated with LRCC5310 compared with the control group (P <.001).

Limitations of the study included the small number of participants, the relatively short investigational period, and the lack of patients with only mild symptoms.

Because “rotavirus has a prolonged period of prevalence, long-term studies performed over several years could have helped achieve more meaningful results,” the researchers concluded. “Despite the abovementioned limitations, we found that the new Lactobacillus species, LRCC5310, inhibits the growth of rotavirus, reduces virus titer, and improves [acute gastroenteritis] symptoms such as diarrhea and Vesikari score.”

Reference

Shin DY, Yi DY, Jo S, et al. Effect of a new Lactobacillus plantarum product, LRCC5310, on clinical symptoms and virus reduction in children with rotaviral enteritis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2020;99(38):e22192. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000022192