Limosilactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 as a probiotic in preterm infants: An updated systematic review with meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis


Background: Our previous strain‐specific systematic review (SR) showed that Lactobacillus reuteri (LR) DSM 17938 reduces necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), late‐onset sepsis (LOS), and time to full feeds (TFF) in preterm infants. Considering progress in the field over the past 6 years, we aimed to update our SR.

Methods: SR of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non‐RCTs was conducted. MEDLINE, Embase, Emcare, Cochrane CENTRAL, and gray literature were searched in June 2023. Primary outcomes were TFF, NEC stage ≥II, LOS, and all‐cause mortality. Meta‐analysis was performed using random‐effects model. Certainty of evidence (CoE) was summarized using Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) guidelines. Trial sequential analysis (TSA) was applied for outcome of NEC in RCTs.

Results: Twelve RCTs (n= 2284) and four non‐RCTs (n= 1616) were included. Six RCT sand three non‐RCTs were new. Meta‐analysis of RCTs showed LR significantly reduced TFF (mean difference,−2.70 [95% CI,−4.90 to−1.31] days; P= 0.0001), NEC stage ≥II(risk ratio [RR], 0.57 [95% CI, 0.37–0.87];P= 0.009; eight RCTs), and LOS (RR, 0.72[95% CI, 0.54–0.97];P= 0.03); but not mortality (RR, 0.76 [95% CI, 0.54–1.06];P= 0.10). TSA showed diversity‐adjusted required information size (DARIS) as 3624 for NEC. Overall CoE was “very low. ”Meta‐analysis of non‐RCTs showed LR reduced NEC(odds ratio, 0.34 [95% CI, 0.15–0.77];P= 0.01) but not LOS. LR had no adverse effects.

Conclusions: Very low CoE suggests that LR DSM 17938 may reduce NEC and LOSand shorten TFF in preterm infants. Additional RCTs are required to confirm ourfindings.

Link to Publisher Version (URL)


This document is currently not available here.

Find in your library