Probiotics and prebiotics for the prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis

Michael R. Stenger, Kristina M. Reber, Peter J. Giannone, Craig A. Nankervis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality in premature infants. Although the pathogenesis of NEC remains unclear, abnormal bacterial colonization has been postulated as playing a central role. Various factors impact bacterial colonization following delivery. Compared to term infants, the bacterial colonization pattern in prematurely born infants is markedly different, with a greater predilection for colonization with pathogenic bacteria. Probiotic and prebiotic administration offers the opportunity to manipulate the intestinal bacterial environment, favoring the growth of commensal bacteria. Experimental data from animal studies and data from human trials suggest that probiotics decrease the incidence of NEC. These preliminary studies support the need for a large, randomized, controlled trial to further investigate the role of probiotics in the prevention of NEC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Infectious Disease Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Bifidobacteria
  • Intestinal bacterial colonization
  • Lactobacillus
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Prebiotics
  • Premature
  • Prevention
  • Probiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Probiotics and prebiotics for the prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this