The effect of probiotics on prevention of upper respiratory tract infections in the paediatric community - a systematic review

EMRE İ. E. , Eroglu Y., Kara A., Dinleyici E. C. , ÖZEN M.

BENEFICIAL MICROBES, vol.11, no.3, pp.201-211, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.3920/bm2019.0119
  • Title of Journal : BENEFICIAL MICROBES
  • Page Numbers: pp.201-211


Prevention of acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) is becoming an increasingly important concept in public health application due to the increase in antibiotic resistance. Probiotics have been shown to have some effect on prevention in various reviews. In this study we aimed to re-asses the effect of probiotics as there has been a substantial increase in literature regarding the effects and safety of probiotics in the paediatric population. Two major databases were systematically searched to identify clinical trials eligible for inclusion. Study selection, data extraction and quality assessment were carried out by two reviewers. This review comprises 33 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) applied to a paediatric population with high-quality methodology. The primary outcome for this review was the incidence of respiratory tract infections. Secondary outcomes were severity of symptoms, missed days of school, incidence of antibiotic use and safety of prebiotic use. This review showed that probiotics have an impact on decreasing the incidence of URTIs and the severity of symptoms. The use of probiotics is extremely safe and as studies increase in evaluation of the effect of probiotics more and more show a significant beneficiary effect. Although still a long way from becoming a unanimous treatment modality, the small positive changes that probiotics have on URTIs is important to consider and the use of probiotics should be encouraged more.