An 11-Year Review of Lactobacillus Bacteremia at a Pediatric Tertiary Care Center

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Hospital pediatrics




OBJECTIVES: To inform clinical decisions on the use of probiotics in a pediatric inpatient setting, we sought to determine the number of cases of Lactobacillus bacteremia as well as associated patient characteristics in a tertiary-care pediatric hospital over an 11-year period. METHODS: Cases of Lactobacillus bacteremia among admitted patients were identified through positive blood culture reports. The clinical chart for each case was reviewed for presenting symptoms and risk factors such as probiotic use, presence of a central venous catheter, immunocompromised state, impaired intestinal function, and age below 3 months. Concurrent total inpatient probiotic administration was assessed. RESULTS: Over an 11-year period, 8 cases of Lactobacillus bacteremia were identified among 127 845 hospital admissions. All cases were associated with systemic signs of infection. Lactobacillus bacteremia patients most frequently had underlying impaired intestinal function and a central venous catheter. Three cases had a history of probiotic use. The peak number of annual cases did not coincide with the peak number of inpatients who received probiotics. CONCLUSIONS: Lactobacillus bacteremia is uncommon and did not correlate with doses of probiotics-administered in the hospital. However, certain populations may be at higher risk and require extra consideration in clinical decision-making regarding use of probiotics.