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Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures

Probiotics in Preterm Infants

by Nicholas D. Embleton, MD, MBBS, FRCPCH, BSc
  • Duration: 75 Mins
  • Credits: 1.25 CERP, 1.25 R-CERP
  • Handout: Yes

Preterm infants are at increased risks of death and serious morbidity, although outcomes have improved significantly over the last 20 years. However, complications associated with gastrointestinal disorders, especially necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), and sepsis are increasingly important problems as respiratory care has improved. There is over-whelming data to support the use of mother’s own breastmilk, but only a few other interventions have shown important impacts on NEC and sepsis. However, meta-analyses, systematic reviews, large scale randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies all suggest that the administration of probiotics decrease the prevalence of NEC and sepsis, and improve other measures of gastrointestinal function such as enteral feed tolerance. Probiotics are live bacteria associated with a health benefit. Multiple different species and strains are considered to be ‘probiotics’ but only a few of these have been tested in high quality RCTs in preterm infants. This talk will review aspects of gut microbiota development, the interaction between breast milk nutrients and the microbiome and the role of probiotics. Methodological challenges associated with the interpretation of existing data will be discussed, and practical steps and considerations for the use of probiotics and potential risks will be considered.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Describe the importance of gut health and the role of the microbiome in preterm infants

Objective 2: Explain the differences between probiotics and prebiotics, and the potential risks and benefits of probiotics

Objective 3: Describe some of the methodological limitations of the current data as it relates to NEC and sepsis, and develop context specific guidelines for their own practice

Presentations: 10  |  Hours / CE Credits: 10.5  |  Viewing Time: 8 Weeks