Microbial ecosystems cover the surface of the human body and it is becoming increasingly clear that our modern environment has profound effects on microbial composition and diversity. A dysbiotic gut microbiota has been associated with allergic diseases and asthma in cross-sectional and observational studies. In an attempt to restore this dysbiosis, probiotics have been evaluated in randomized controlled trials. Here, we review treatment and primary prevention studies, recent meta-analyses, and discuss the current understanding of the role of probiotics in this context. Many meta-analyses have shown a moderate benefit of probiotics for eczema prevention, whereas there is less evidence of a benefit for other allergic manifestations. Because of very low quality evidence and heterogeneity between studies, specific advice on the most effective regimens cannot yet be given – not even for eczema prevention. To be able to adopt results into specific recommendations, international expert organizations stress the need for well-designed studies. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
West, C. E. E., Jenmalm, M. C. C., Kozyrskyj, A. L. L., & Prescott, S. L. (2016). Probiotics for treatment and primary prevention of allergic diseases and asthma: looking back and moving forward. Expert Review of Clinical Immunology, 12(6), 625-639. https://doi.org/10.1586/1744666x.2016.1147955