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NEOBIFI: Clinical Trial for the Prevention and/or Reduction of the Incidence of Colics in Infants (NEOBIFI)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03219931
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : July 18, 2017
Last Update Posted : January 11, 2018
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Flavia Prodam, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Maggiore della Carita

Brief Summary:

Infant colics represent a clinical condition in childhood, characterized by an uncontrollable crying that occurs without any apparent organic cause.1 They can be associated with face redness, closed fists, thighs flexion, meteorism, and gas emission. They are generally diagnosed according to Wessel's "rule of three" (>3 h of crying a day, for >3d a week, for >3wk in a row).2 These crises tend to reach their maximum intensity at 6 weeks of age, in most cases.3 They represent a serious source of anxiety for the family, increasing hospital admissions (5.8% of infants),4 postpartum depression risk, with higher stress levels for up to 3 years from these events. The etiology is still unknown. Anyway, it's assumed that the following factors may be involved: (1) Lactose intolerance. (2) Food hypersensitivity. (3) Feeding difficulties. (4) Disorders of the enteric nervous system. (5) Alterations of pain transmission. (6) Gastroesophageal reflux. (7) Intestinal hormones. (8) Psychosocial factors. (9) Alteration of the intestinal microbiota. In 1994, Lehtonen was the first to suggest that an altered intestinal microbiota composition in the very first months may induce intestinal colics in infants. Human intestinal microbiota is composed of about 1013 to 1014 microorganisms, mainly bacteria. The total number of microbiota genes is called "microbioma" and it is estimated to be 150 times the number of genes in the human genome.5 It acts as a real organ, whose activity can be influenced by diet, lifestyle, prebiotics, probiotics, and antibiotics. Several studies revealed the predominance of bifidobacteria in breastfed infants, whereas bottle-fed infants show a mixed population where bifidobacteria are less represented. the intestinal microbiota composition in a 3-year-old child is already similar to that of an adult.6 Other factors conditioning the microbiota are gestational age and type of birth. Colicky infants have a microbiota with a slow development and a lower stability over time.7 It also contains less lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, and a prevalence of gram-negative bacteria. The stools of these children often show increased levels of calprotectin, an intestinal index of inflammation.

RISK FACTORS ARE SEVERAL: Smoking: The exposure to cigarette smoke may be related to colics; this might be connected to the increase of plasma and intestinal levels of motilin. Maternal smoking during pregnancy seems to increase the risk of developing colics, more than postnatal exposition to smoke.8

Psychosocial: Infant colics may be more frequent with an instable psychosocial family environment. Maternal stress, anxiety, and depression are important risk factors.8 Breastfeeding: The difference between breastfeeding and bottlefeeding for colicky infants is controversial. Many studies have shown contrasting results,17 but the majority of the authors agree to attribute an important role to bottlefeeding. 9 A melatonin role was assumed too. This hormone is not secreted in infants, but only in adults, and has a hypnotic and relaxing role on the gastrointestinal smooth muscle. Its concentration shows a clear circadian rhythm, with a pick during night hours. Its presence in breast milk may be related to the lower occurrence of colics in breastfed infants compared with the bottle-fed infants.9 Recent literature shows an increasing attention toward probiotics,10 for the intestinal microbiota modulation. Some Lactobacillus reuteri strains were studied, with contrasting results in different studies; other probiotics as bifidobacteria showed in vitro anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to inhibit coliforms growth, whose presence is significant in colicky infants. Some probiotics exert a direct action on the bacterial growth, through bacteriocins production and final fermentation products.11 Bifidobacterium breve was isolated from healthy infants' feces.12 Aloisio et al13 tested in vitro ability of this strain and of other 45 bifidobacteria strains to oppose the growth of several microorganisms such as E. coli, S. enteriditis, C. difficile, K. pneumoniae, and Enterobacter cloacae. B. breve BR03, in a randomized clinical study, proved to have a beneficial effect on constipation in adults, it also seemed effective for the reduction of gas formation and for abdominal distension, and no side effects were shown during the treatment, while the beneficial effects lasted for up to 15 days after the end of the treatment.14,15 Both bifidobacteria strains showed, during an in vitro study, the ability to oppose 4 strains of E. coli; in particular, BR03 displayed an activity against E. coli O157:H7, an enterohemorrhagic strain that through Shiga toxin causes a potentially lethal infection.16


Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Colic, Infantile Probiotic Gut Microbiome Bifidobacterium Breve Drug: Bifidobacterium breve BR03 and Bifidobacterium breve B632 Drug: Placebos Phase 4

Detailed Description:

Type of Study: Interventional single-center, double-blind, randomized study, with treatment and placebo controlled.

Population: Only healthy babies were accepted. They were not treated with antibiotics, enrolled within 15 days from birth, and with an informed consent signed by the parents.

Parents were asked to make an initial recruitment examination within 15 days from birth and a second one at the 91st day of age, at the clinic of Pediatric Gastroenterology.

During the 90 days of the study, parents were asked to give 5 drops of active product (108 viable cells/strain) or placebo and to daily take note of minutes of crying, number, color, and consistency of evacuations, and number of regurgitations or vomits.

Probiotical S.p.A. (Novara, Italy) supplied the active product and the placebo. All data were collected in a database. Randomization was performed by an external operator of the study.

STATISTIC ANALYSIS:

Categorical variables were analyzed with the Fischer exact test. Comparisons between numeric variables between various groups were performed with the Kruskal-Wallis test (in the case of >2 groups) and with the Wilcoxon test for independent samples (in the case of only 2 groups being compared). A probability value of P<0.05 was considered as the limit of statistical significance.


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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 320 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description: During the 90 days of the study, parents were asked to give 5 drops of active product (108 viable cells/strain) or placebo and to daily take note of minutes of crying, number, color, and consistency of evacuations, and number of regurgitations or vomits.
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Masking Description: The study is a triple blind study in which the treatment or intervention is unknown to the research participant, the individuals who administer the treatment or intervention, and the researchers who assess the outcomes.
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effects of an Association of the Two Bifidobacteria Probiotics Bifidobacterium Breve B632 and Bifidobacterium Breve BR03 in Intestinal Bacterial Colonization and in the Prevention and/or Reduction of the Incidence of Colics in Infants
Actual Study Start Date : October 1, 2013
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 31, 2017
Actual Study Completion Date : July 31, 2017

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Active group - Breastfeeding infants
In this Group will be enrolled only infants who are breastfed. This Group will take the active product containing 5 drops of active product (108 viable cells/strain) of Bifidobacterium breve BR03 and Bifidobacterium breve B632.
Drug: Bifidobacterium breve BR03 and Bifidobacterium breve B632
This is the active product containing 108 viable cells/strain

Active Comparator: Active Group - Bottlefeeding infant
In this active Group will be enrolled only infant who are bottle-fed. This Group will take the active product containing 5 drops of active product (108 viable cells/strain) of Bifidobacterium breve BR03 and Bifidobacterium breve B632.
Drug: Bifidobacterium breve BR03 and Bifidobacterium breve B632
This is the active product containing 108 viable cells/strain

Placebo Comparator: Placebo group - Breastfeeding infants
In this placebo Group will be enrolled only infants who are breastfed. This arm will receive a supplementation with a same product equal to the active product but without bifidobacterium inside.
Drug: Placebos
This is the placebo product containing a similar product without bifidobacterium inside.
Other Name: Placebo

Placebo Comparator: Placebo group - Bottlefeeding infants
In this placebo Group will be enrolled only infants who are bottlefed. This arm will receive a supplementation with a same product equal to the active product but without bifidobacterium inside.
Drug: Placebos
This is the placebo product containing a similar product without bifidobacterium inside.
Other Name: Placebo




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in infants crying - reduction of infants crying [ Time Frame: Change from Baseline (V0) of infant crying at 3 months (V1) ]
    The primary endpoint of the study was the assessment of the effectiveness of B. breve B632 and BR03 association in the reduction of infants crying over time. Both breastfed and bottle-fed babies were studied.


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in gastrointestinal symptoms [ Time Frame: Change from Baseline (V0) of fecal evacuations, regurgitations and vomits at 3 months (V1) ]
    The second endpoint was to observe the effect of these probiotics on daily evacuations and on the number of regurgitations and vomits.

  2. Change in fecal microbiome [ Time Frame: Change from Baseline of fecal microbiome (V0) at 3 months (V1) ]
    Evaluate any variation of fecal microbiome



Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 15 Days   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Only healthy babies term born
  • Between 6 days and 15 days of life
  • With a Birth weight between 2500 gr and 4000 gr
  • With natural childbirth

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Adverse reactions to the product or component of the product (allergies…)
  • Antibiotic treatments
  • Chronic diseases, hepatic or gastroenterological diseases
  • Medical treatment for chronic diseases
  • Probiotic or prebiotic therapies

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT03219931


Locations
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Italy
AOU Maggiore della Carità - Clinica Pediatrica - Ambulatorio di Gastroenterologia Pediatrica
Novara, Italy, 28100
Sponsors and Collaborators
Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Maggiore della Carita

Publications:
Brooks GF, Carroll KC, Butel JS, et al. Jawetz, Melnick, & Adelberg's Medical Microbiology, 26e. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill; 2013.
WHO. WHO European Ministerial Conference on Nutrition and Noncommunicable Diseases in the Context of Health 2020. Vienna: WHO; 2013.
Scardovi V, Casalicchio F, Vincenzi N. Multiple electrophoretic forms of transaldolase and 6-phosphogluconic dehydrogenase and their relationships to the taxonomy and ecology of the bifidobacteria. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1979;29:312-327.

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Responsible Party: Flavia Prodam, Assoc. Professor in Clinical Nutrition, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Maggiore della Carita
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03219931     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CE 63/13
First Posted: July 18, 2017    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 11, 2018
Last Verified: January 2018
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No

Keywords provided by Flavia Prodam, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Maggiore della Carita:
infant colics
probiotic
gut microbiome
bifidobacterium breve
crying time

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Colic
Infant, Newborn, Diseases