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Background: Disturbance in the oropharyngeal microbiota is common in hospitalized patients and contributes to the development of nosocomial pneumonia. Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 299 and 299v (Lp299 and Lp299v) are probiotic bacteria with beneficial effects on the human microbiome.

Aim: To investigate how Lp299 and Lp299v affect the growth of nosocomial oropharyngeal pathogens in vitro and to evaluate the efficacy in vivo when these probiotics are administered prophylactically in hospitalized patients.

Methods: The in vitro effect of Lp299 and Lp299v on nosocomial respiratory tract pathogens was evaluated using two methods, the co-culture and agar overlay. In the clinical study, patients were randomized to orally receive either probiotics or placebo twice daily during their hospital stay. Oropharyngeal swabs were analyzed at inclusion and every fourth day throughout hospitalization.

Findings: All tested pathogens were completely inhibited by both Lp299 and Lp299v using the agar-overlay method. In the co-culture experiment, Lp299 and Lp299v significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the growth of all pathogens except for Enterococcus faecalis co-incubated with Lp299. In the clinical study, daily oral treatment with Lp299 and Lp299v did not influence the development of disturbed oropharyngeal microbiota or nosocomial infection. Proton pump inhibitors, antibiotics, and steroid treatment were identified as risk factors for developing disturbed oropharyngeal microbiota.

Conclusions: Lp299 and Lp299v inhibited pathogen growth in vitro but did not affect the oropharyngeal microbiota in vivo. The Identifier for this study is NCT02303301.

Keywords: hospitalization; nosocomial infection; nosocomial pathogens; oropharyngeal microbiota; probiotics.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactiplantibacillus plantarum LP-1Inhibition of Otitis Media Pathogens GrowthBeneficial
Lactiplantibacillus plantarum LP-1No Influence on Oropharyngeal MicrobiotaNeutral
Lactiplantibacillus plantarum LP-1Reduced Pathogen GrowthBeneficial

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