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Forum on Immunopathological Diseases and Therapeutics

ISSN Print: 2151-8017
ISSN Online: 2151-8025

Archives: Volume 1, 2010 to Volume 7, 2016

Forum on Immunopathological Diseases and Therapeutics

DOI: 10.1615/ForumImmunDisTher.2016018178
pages 1-15

Probiotics and Innate and Adaptive Immune Responses in Premature Infants

Mark A. Underwood
School of Medicine, University of California at Davis, Sacramento, CA

ABSTRACT

Premature infants are at increased risk for morbidity and mortality due to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and sepsis. Probiotics decrease the risk of NEC and death in premature infants; however, mechanisms of action are unclear. A wide variety of probiotic species have been evaluated for potential beneficial properties in vitro, in animal models, and in clinical trials of premature infants. Although there is variation by species and even strain, common mechanisms of protection include attenuation of intestinal inflammation, apoptosis, dysmotility, permeability, supplanting other gut microbes through production of bacteriocins, and more effective use of available nutrients. Here, we review the most promising probiotics and what is known about their impact on the innate and adaptive immune response.