Restitution of gut microbiota in Ugandan children administered with probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12) during treatment for severe acute malnutrition

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is a major challenge in low-income countries and gut microbiota (GM) dysbiosis may play a role in its etiology. Here, we determined the GM evolution during rehabilitation from SAM and the impact of probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12) supplementation. The GM (16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing) of children admitted to hospital with SAM showed distinct composition over admission (e.g. Klebsiella spp., and Enterobacteriaceae spp.), discharge (e.g. Clostridiaceae spp., Veilonella dispar) and follow-up (e.g. Lactobacillus ruminis, Blautia spp., Faecalibacterium prausnitzii), reaching similar β- and α-diversity as healthy individuals. Children with diarrhea had reduced distribution of Bacteroidaceae, Lachnospiraceae, increased Enterobacteriaceae and Moraxellaceae, and lower α-diversity. Children suffering from edematous SAM had diminished proportion of Prevotellaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Ruminoccaceae and a higher α-diversity when compared to non-edematous SAM. Supplementation of probiotics did not influence β-diversity upon discharge or follow-up, but it increased (p <.05) the number of observed species [SE: > 4.5]. Children where the probiotic species were detected had lower cumulative incidence (p <.001) of diarrhea during the follow-up period compared to children receiving placebo and children receiving probiotics, but where the probiotics were not detected. The GM of children with non-edematous and edematous SAM differ in composition, which might have implications for future GM targeted treatments. Probiotics treatment reduced the cumulative incidence of diarrhea during the outpatient phase, with the strongest effect in children where the administered probiotics could be detected in the GM.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGut Microbes
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)855-867
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. Lactis BB-12, gut microbiota, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, probiotics, restitution, Severe acute malnutrition treatment

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 236560314