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Keywords:

  • acute watery diarrhoea;
  • children;
  • lactobacillus

Aim:  To evaluate the role of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) as probiotic in acute watery diarrhoea (AWD).

Setting:  Hospital-based study.

Design:  Randomised, controlled, blinded trial.

Patients and Method:  All patients of AWD (n = 684) admitted over 1-year period were invited to participate in the study as per predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria and were randomised to intervention and control groups. After adequate rehydration the intervention group (n = 330) received ORS with probiotic powder containing 60 million cells of LGG, while the control group (n = 332) received ORS alone twice daily for a minimum period of 7 days or till diarrhoea ceased. During the study period all patients received ORS and/or IV fluids for ongoing losses, and nutritional supplementation. None of them received any antibiotic or antidiarrhoeal medication. After exclusion of 16 patients, 646 (323 in each arm) patients completed the study. The daily frequency and total duration of diarrhoea and vomiting and the length of hospital stay were studied. Data were analysed by SPSS-10 software. Statistical significance was calculated by Student's t-test and χ2-test.

Results: Rotavirus was isolated in 75.85%. There was no significant difference between treatment groups in the daily frequency or duration of diarrhoea or vomiting or in the length of hospital stay. No complication was observed from the use of LGG.

Conclusion: LGG supplementation does not decrease the frequency and duration of diarrhoea and vomiting in children with AWD, and does not reduce hospital stay in these patients.