The researchers' rationale for using this combination was based on general microbial composition, which showed "a predominance of Lactobacillus sp. in the small intestine and Bifidobacterium sp. in the large intestine (among a variety of beneficial bacteria present in healthy human subjects)".
The formula was tested on a group of 28 infants who had been warded at Yonsei University Hospital due to rotavirus disease.
They were orally administered the probiotic formula twice daily for three days, and the results were compared against that of a placebo group of 29 male and female infants who also had the disease.
The latter, also warded at the same hospital, was given a placebo of probiotic-free skim milk and standard diarrhoea therapy for three days.
All the infants were aged between nine and 16 months old, and there were no differences in the blood characteristics of both groups.
The study subsequently found that, upon completion of the protocol, the duration of diarrhoea in the probiotic group was considerably shorter than that in the placebo group.
While it acknowledged that the duration of diarrhoea may be dependent on a child's diet, health status and prescribed medication, it also "demonstrated a statistically significant diarrhoea reduction of 1.2 days".
At the same time, the reduction in duration varied slightly from those observed in previous studies that had also used probiotic strains to alleviate diarrhoea; in those studies, the duration decrease ranged from 0.5 to 1.5 days.
The study stated that the "efficacy of probiotics is strain-specific, so this may be due to the use of different strains in different studies".
Other symptoms, such as the duration of fever, as well as the frequency of diarrhoea and vomiting, "tended to be ameliorated by the probiotic treatment".
However, the study added that the differences between the two groups were not statistically significant, and there were no adverse events or any differences in the frequency of adverse events in either group.
It concluded: "The results of the present study demonstrated that a probiotic formula containing Bifidobacterium longum BORI and Lactobacillus acidophilus AD031 reduced the duration of rotavirus diarrhoea in young Korean children."
"The Efficacy of Bifidobacterium longum BORI and Lactobacillus acidophilus AD031 Probiotic Treatment in Infants with Rotavirus Infection"
Authors: Myeong Soo Park, et al.