Probiotics for prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants Updated Cochrane review

AlFaleh K, Anabrees J. Published Online: 10 April 2014

Background: 

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and nosocomial sepsis are associated with increased morbidity and mortality in preterm infants. Through prevention of bacterial migration across the mucosa, competitive exclusion of pathogenic bacteria, and enhancing the immune responses of the host, prophylactic enteral probiotics (live microbial supplements) may play a role in reducing NEC and the associated morbidity.

Authors' conclusions: 

Enteral supplementation of probiotics prevents severe NEC and all cause mortality in preterm infants. Our updated review of available evidence strongly supports a change in practice. Head to head comparative studies are required to assess the most effective preparations, timing, and length of therapy to be utilized.