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Revista chilena de pediatría

versión impresa ISSN 0370-4106


BRUNSER, Oscar. Probiotics: innocuousness, prevention and risks. Rev. chil. pediatr. [online]. 2017, vol.88, n.4, pp.534-540. ISSN 0370-4106.

Probiotics have been defined as live microorganisms which, when ingested in adequate numbers, confer health benefits to the host. They are currently consumed without any age restrictions and adverse effects such as sepsis, a marker of the risk of invasion of the bloodstream, are extremely infrequent. However, some health professionals express doubts about probiotics being truly innocuous. This review discusses the incidence of sepsis secondary to probiotics use, mainly lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, evaluated through molecular biology or classic culture techniques, showing that sepsis in large numbers of individuals along decennia is extremely low, of the order of 0,02% en some centers or as low as 1 case/million population in France. These data are important considering the use different species and strains of these microorganisms. Few studies which have reported other adverse effects but many of these have problems with their design that cast doubt about the validity of their results. On the contrary, it has been shown that probiotic microorganisms exert positive stimulatory effects on innate and acquired immunity, with decrease of the manifestations of atopy and eczema. These positive effects are further evidenced by the beneficial effects of many species of probiotics in preventing necrotizing enterocolitis in patients as functionally labile as premature-born babies.

Palabras clave : Probiotics; blood cultures; sepsis; lactobacilli; Bifidobacteria.

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