Probiotics in Pediatrics

Vijayaraghavan, S ; Bangotra, Ridhika ; Somasekar, R ; Bhuminathan, S ; Bajaj, Bijender Kumar

Abstract

The gut microbiota is critically important for development and maturation of the mucosal immune system right from birth till the whole life. The development of the immune system in neonates is especially important because it is not fully matured. However, its growth begins before birth. It depends on various factors like mode of delivery, mother’s microbiota, antibiotic consumption, mother’s milk, eating habits of infants and other environmental factors. Alterations in gut microbiota (dysbiosis) may disturb the gut homeostasis, and hamper the development of immune system. However, dysbiosis in infants may be averted by administration of probiotics. Mother’s milk contains various nutritive components along with some beneficial bacteria, probiotics (lactobacilli and bifidobacteria) which help in the development of gut microbiome of the infant. Probiotics, in particular, serve an important role in sustaining eubiosis in an infant's body. Any dysbiotic condition, particularly in infants, may be associated with a number of diseases/disorders like diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems, and allergic issues. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is one such common allergic problem prevalent in paediatrics. The probiotics serve as modulators of immune response and acts as immunobiotics. AD-related inflammation can be successfully managed by the intervention of probiotics. This review presents the potential of probiotics for proper development of infants’ immune system, and for prevention and treatment of various diseases, especially the ever-rising cases of AD.

Keyword(s)

Atopic dermatitis; Bifidobacteria; Dysbiosis; Gut microbiome; Immunobiotics

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