Get access

Bacterial counts of intestinal Lactobacillus species in infants with colic


Dr Francesco Savino, Dipartimento di Scienze Pediatriche e dell'Adolescenza, Ospedale Infantile Regina Margherita, P.zza Polonia, 94 10126 Torino, Italy
Tel: +39 01 13 135 257
Fax: +39 01 16 677 082


Intestinal colonization by lactobacilli is suggested to be a prerequisite to normal mucosal immune functions. An inadequate level of lactobacilli may be involved in appearance of allergic disease of which, infantile colic, is often considered an early clinical manifestation. The aim of the study is to evaluate intestinal lactobacilli in breast-fed infants with infantile colic and healthy infants. Fifty-six breast-fed infants, aged 15–60 days were enrolled in the study and divided into two groups: colicky (30 cases) and healthy (26 cases) according to Wessel's criteria. Stool samples were collected, diluted and cultured on selective media. The colonies were counted, reported as colony forming unit (cfu) per gram of faeces and identified by biochemical methods. Different colonization patterns of lactobacilli were found among colicky and healthy infants. Lactobacillus brevis (4.34 × 108 cfu/g) and L. lactis lactis (2.51 × 107 cfu/g) were found only in colicky infants while L. acidophilus (2.41 × 107 cfu/g) was found only in healthy infants. Lactobacillus brevis and L. lactis lactis might be involved in the pathogenesis of infantile colic increasing meteorism and abdominal distension. Further studies are required to understand how the observed differences may be involved in the pathogenesis of this common disorder.

Get access to the full text of this article