A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Oral Probiotic to Reduce Antepartum Group B Streptococcus Colonization and Gastrointestinal Symptoms

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2023

Publisher

Elsevier

Source Publication

American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology MFM

Source ISSN

2589-9333

Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1016/j.ajogmf.2022.100748

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Probiotics have been suggested as a strategy to reduce antenatal group B Streptococcus colonization. Although probiotics are known to improve gastrointestinal symptoms, this has not been studied during pregnancy.

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a probiotic to reduce: (1) standard-of-care antenatal group B Streptococcus colonization and colony counts and (2) gastrointestinal symptoms of pregnancy.

STUDY DESIGN

In a double-blind fashion, 109 healthy adult pregnant people were randomized to Florajen3 probiotic or placebo capsules once daily from 28 weeks’ gestation until labor onset. Baseline vaginal and rectal study swabs for group B Streptococcus colony-forming units and microbiome analysis were collected at 28 and 36 weeks’ gestation. Standard-of-care vaginal to rectal group B Streptococcus swabs were collected from all participants at 36 weeks’ gestation and determined the need for intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis. Data collection included solicitation of adverse events, demographic information, Antepartum Gastrointestinal Symptom Assessment score, yogurt ingestion, sexual activity, and vaginal cleaning practices.

RESULTS

A total of 83 participants completed the study to 36 weeks’ gestation with no adverse events. Standard-of-care group B Streptococcus colonization was 20.4% in the control group and 15.4% in probiotic group participants (−5%; P=.73). The relative risk for positive standard-of-care vaginal–rectal group B Streptococcus colonization was 1.33 (95% confidence interval, 0.5–3.40) times higher in the control group than in the probiotic group (P=.55). There were no differences in median vaginal (P=.16) or rectal (P=.20) group B streptococcus colony-forming units at baseline or at 36 weeks (vaginal P>.999; rectal P=.56). Antepartum Gastrointestinal Symptom Assessment scores were similar at baseline (P=.19), but significantly decreased in probiotic group participants at 36 weeks (P=.02). No covariates significantly altered group B Streptococcus colonization. Significantly more Florajen3 bacteria components were recovered from the vaginal–rectal samples of probiotic group participants (32%; P=.04) compared with controls.

CONCLUSION

The findings of this study provided insufficient evidence for the clinical application of the Florajen3 probiotic intervention to reduce standard-of-care vaginal–rectal group B Streptococcus colonization. The prevalence of group B Streptococcus was lower than expected in the study population, and intervention adherence was poor. Probiotic bacteria colonization of the genitourinary tract occurred more in intervention group participants than in controls and significantly reduced gastrointestinal symptoms of pregnancy.

Comments

American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology MFM. Vol. 5, No. 1 (January 2023). DOI.

Share

COinS