Therapeutic Effects of Probiotics in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis
Therapeutic Effects of Probiotics in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis
Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 2006. Nov, 16(11): 1699-1705
  • Published : November 30, 2006
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Yim, Jun-Hee
Kim, Duk-Han
Ku, Ja-Kyung
Kang, Yoon-Sung
Kim, Mi-Yeon
Kim, Hyung-Ok
Chung, Myung-Jun
Park, Young-Min

Recent studies have suggested that oral bacteriotherapy with probiotics might be useful for preventing and managing childhood atopic dermatitis (AD). The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral treatment with probiotics for adolescent and adult AD patients as well as for childhood AD patients. Sixty-four patients with mild to moderate AD were recruited for treatment with a mixture of four probiotic strains (Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus casei, and Biftdobacterium lactis) twice daily for 8 weeks. The degree of pruritus was determined by a 10-point visual analog scale every other week, and the patients' global assessments of their clinical responses (i.e., better, unchanged, or worse) was done at the end of intervention. The clinical severity of the eczema was evaluated by eczema area and severity index (EASI) score every other week. As laboratory markers, total immunoglobulin E (IgE), eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) in the serum, and cytokine production [interleukin-4 (IL-4), interleukin-10 (IL-10), and $interferon-{\gamma}\;(IFN-{\gamma})$ by the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were measured at the beginning and at the end of intervention. Of the 64 enrolled AD patients, only 50 patients finally completed the 8-week study. After 8-week treatment with probiotics, the EASI score was significantly improved (p<0.0001), 50% of the patients experienced improvement of their eczema, and significant improvement of the pruritus was also observed (p=0.0002). The effect was more pronounced for the patients with very high IgE levels (>1,000 ku/l) or for the patients with moderate disease severity. There was no significant difference in the therapeutic effects between the childhood AD and adolescent and adult AD patients. There were no significant changes of cytokines, as well as the total IgE and ECP levels, in the patients' serum. Treatment with the mixture of four probiotic strains was generally well tolerated. Our results suggest that the treatment with the mixture of four probiotic strains is beneficial for the management of the adolescent and adult AD patients, as well as for the childhood AD patients.