Journal Article

<i>Lactobacillus</i> Bacteremia during a Rapid Increase in Probiotic Use of <i>Lactobacillus rhamnosus</i> GG in Finland

Minna K. Salminen, Soile Tynkkynen, Hilpi Rautelin, Maija Saxelin, Martti Vaara, Petri Ruutu, Seppo Sarna, Ville Valtonen and Asko Järvinen

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 35, issue 10, pages 1155-1160
Published in print November 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online November 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/342912
Lactobacillus Bacteremia during a Rapid Increase in Probiotic Use of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in Finland

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Lactobacilli supposedly have low pathogenicity; they are seldom detected in blood culture. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, which originates indigenously in the human intestine, became available for use as a probiotic in 1990 in Finland. We evaluated the possible effects of the increased probiotic use of L. rhamnosus GG on the occurrence of bacteremia due to lactobacilli. Lactobacilli were isolated in 0.02% of all blood cultures and 0.2% of all blood cultures with positive results in Helsinki University Central Hospital and in Finland as a whole, and no trends were seen that suggested an increase in Lactobacillus bacteremia. The average incidence was 0.3 cases/100,000 inhabitants/year in 1995–2000 in Finland. Identification to the species level was done for 66 cases of Lactobacillus bacteremia, and 48 isolates were confirmed to be Lactobacillus strains. Twenty-six of these strains were L. rhamnosus, and 11 isolates were identical to L. rhamnosus GG. The results indicate that increased probiotic use of L. rhamnosus GG has not led to an increase in Lactobacillus bacteremia.

Journal Article.  2929 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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