Assessment of safety and efficacy of probiotics use in premature infants
Probiotics are suggested to greatly reduce the risk of mortality and risk of infection in the gut of preterm infants. However, probiotics are rarely given to babies in hospitals in North America. The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of probiotics supplementation in improving intestinal heath and preventing gut complications in premature infants. In this study, 25 preterm infants in St. Boniface Hospital will receive the probiotic for four weeks and 25 infants in the Winnipeg Health Science Centre will not receive probiotics. Stool, blood and urine samples will be collected before and after administration of probiotics for multiple laboratory analysis (biomarkers related to gut health). The results will provide a better understanding of the efficacy and safety of probiotic supplementation as a routine treatment for premature infants.