Angurana SK, et al. Evaluation of Effect of Probiotics on Cytokine Levels in Critically Ill Children With Severe Sepsis: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Crit Care Med. 2018 Oct;46(10):1656-1664.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect of probiotics on cytokines in children with severe sepsis.
DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
SETTING: ICU of a tertiary care teaching hospital in North India.
PATIENTS: Children 3 months to 12 years old with severe sepsis.
INTERVENTIONS: Enrolled children were randomized to probiotic (n = 50) and placebo (n = 50) groups. Probiotic group received VSL#3 (Danisco-Dupont USA, Madison, WI) (Lactobacillus paracasei, L. plantarum, L. acidophilus, L. delbrueckii, Bifidobacterium longum, B. infantis, B. breve, Streptococcus salivarius; maltose and silicon dioxide), and placebo group received maltose and silicon dioxide. Dose was 1 sachet twice daily for 7 days. Blood was collected on days 1 and 7 for estimation of interleukin-6, interleukin-12p70, interleukin-17, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-10, and transforming growth factor -β1. “Primary outcome”: Change in cytokine levels in probiotic and placebo groups from day 1 to 7. “Secondary outcomes”: Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score, healthcare-associated infections, ICU stay, and mortality.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: On day 7, probiotic group had significantly lower levels of proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6 [80 vs 186 pg/mL, p = 0.001]; interleukin-12p70 [44 vs 79 pg/mL, p = 0.001]; interleukin-17 [217 vs 293 pg/mL, p = 0.01]; and tumor necrosis factor-α [192 vs 348 pg/mL, p = 0.01]) and higher levels of antiinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-10 [320 vs 240 pg/mL, p = 0.02] and transforming growth factor-β1 [311 vs 221 ng/mL, p = 0.01]) than placebo group. From day 1 to 7, probiotic group showed significant decrease in proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6 [196-80 pg/mL, p = 0.001]; interleukin-12p70 [71-44 pg/mL, p = 0.01]; interleukin-17 [258-217 pg/mL, p = 0.01]; and tumor necrosis factor-α [347-192 pg/mL, p = 0.001]) and increase in antiinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-10 [198-320 pg/mL, p = 0.001] and transforming growth factor-β1 [216-311 ng/mL, p = 0.001]) as compared to placebo group. Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score on day 7 was significantly less in probiotic group (1 vs 3). There was a nonsignificant trend toward lower incidence of healthcare-associated infections (14% vs 20%) and duration of ICU stay (6.5 vs 9 d) in probiotic group. Mortality was similar in two groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Probiotics supplementation for 7 days resulted in significant decrease in proinflammatory and increase in antiinflammatory cytokines in children with severe sepsis.