One of the most important application of probiotics in pediatric field is in the infection of the gastrointestinal tract, as recognized by the guidelines of many international scientific societies. As professor Berni Canani (Neaples, Italy) points out, probiotics are able to:
- activate a powerful mechanism of defence against viruses and bacteria;
- stimulate immune and non-immune mechanism of action such as intestinal impermeability, mucous thickness, etc.;
- shape the gut microbiota composition and function, selecting good bacteria able to carry out a positive effect for the health of the baby.
Nowadays we know exactly the most important and active probiotic strains to treat a child affected by gastrointestinal infections, for example lactobacillus rhamnosus, lactobacillus reuteri or saccharomyces boulardii, which are able to have a positive effect on the disease duration and severity.
As to the prevention of nosocomial infections, lactobacillus rhamnosus, lactobacillus reuteri and saccharomyces boulardii, are able to prevent infection, not only of the gastrointestinal tract but also of the respiratory tract. The duration of treatments depends on the duration of the hospitalization.