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Abstract

Interactions between the immune system and the intestinal microbiota may play a role in coeliac disease (CD). In the present study, the potential effects of Bifidobacterium longum CECT 7347 in children with newly diagnosed CD were evaluated. A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in thirty-three children who received a capsule containing either B. longum CECT 7347 (10⁹ colony-forming units) or placebo (excipients) daily for 3 months together with a gluten-free diet (GFD). Outcome measures (baseline and post-intervention) included immune phenotype of peripheral blood cells, serum cytokine concentration, faecal secretory IgA (sIgA) content, anthropometric parameters and intestinal microbiota composition. Comparisons between the groups revealed greater height percentile increases (P= 0·048) in the B. longum CECT 7347 group than in the placebo group, as well as decreased peripheral CD3⁺ T lymphocytes (P= 0·004) and slightly reduced TNF-α concentration (P= 0·067). Within-group comparisons of baseline and final values did not reveal any differences in T lymphocytes and cytokines in the placebo group, while decreased CD3⁺ (P =0·013) and human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-DR⁺ T lymphocytes (P =0·029) and slightly reduced TNF-α concentration (P= 0·085) were detected in the B. longum CECT 7347 group. Comparison between the groups showed that the administration of B. longum CECT 7347 reduced the numbers of the Bacteroides fragilis group (P= 0·020) and the content of sIgA in stools (P= 0·011) compared with the administration of placebo. Although this is a first exploratory intervention with limitations, the findings suggest that B. longum CECT 7347 could help improve the health status of CD patients who tend to show alterations in gut microbiota composition and a biased immune response even on a GFD.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bifidobacterium longum B1-05Decreased Peripheral CD3⁺ T Lymphocyte CountBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum B1-05Improved Height PercentileBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum B1-05Reduced Bacteroides Fragilis Group NumbersBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum B1-05Reduced Secretory Immunoglobulin A in StoolsBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum B1-05Reduced Tumor Necrosis Factor AlphaBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum BI-05Decreased Peripheral CD3⁺ T Lymphocyte CountBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum BI-05Improved Height PercentileBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum BI-05Reduced Bacteroides Fragilis Group NumbersBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum BI-05Reduced Secretory IgA Content in FaecesNeutral
Small
Bifidobacterium longum BI-05Reduced Tumor Necrosis Factor AlphaBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum KABP-042Decreased Peripheral CD3⁺ T Lymphocyte CountBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum KABP-042Improved Height PercentileBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum KABP-042Reduced Bacteroides Fragilis Group NumbersBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum KABP-042Reduced Secretory IgA Content in FaecesNeutral
Small
Bifidobacterium longum KABP-042Reduced Tumor Necrosis Factor AlphaBeneficial
Small

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