Probiotic Bacteria Could Protect Newborns From Deadly Infection

Probiotics Offer Powerful Protection For Infants Against Sepsis

What is sepsis?  Sepsis is the result of a massive immune response to bacterial infection that gets into the blood. A bacterial infection in the blood, is called septicemia. You’ll often hear both terms used together. It often leads to organ failure or injury. This is no joke. It’s a deadly serious matter.An estimated 1 million Americans develop sepsis each year and up to 50 percent die from the systemic infection.

Recent research shows feeding newborns probiotics (healthy bacteria) significantly lowers the child’s risk of developing sepsis. The study involved infants in rural India, where sepsis is common. Worldwide, an estimated 600,000 infants die from sepsis, primarily in developing countries.

The bacterial strain selected was Lactobacillus plantarum ATCC-202195 — a kind of lactic acid bacteria found in fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi. To that, they added the prebiotic fructooligosaccharide “to promote growth and sustain colonization of the probiotic strain.”

According to NPR, the team was “shocked by how well the bacteria worked.” In infants given the synbiotic mix (probiotic plus prebiotic) for one week, the risk of sepsis and death dropped by 40 percent, from 9 to 5.4 percent.

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