New Delhi: Thousands of infants die due to infections in the first few weeks of their life. A bulk of these deaths can be prevented with an inexpensive probiotic-based preventive therapy developed by a group of Indian and American scientists.
The therapy has been tested in over 4,500 infants from 149 villages in Odisha. Results of this trial, published this week in the international journal Nature, show that the probiotic when given orally for one week after birth can reduce sepsis and death by 40 percent. In addition, it also drastically reduces respiratory tract infections. This is the largest ever clinical study of probiotics conducted among new born babies.
Sepsis is a severe complication of bacterial infection that results in around one million infant deaths globally every year.