• GS Prelims, GS Main paper III
  • Science and Technology, Health, Synbiotics, IMR, Infant health



  • Infant mortality is a serious issue in India.
  • With 30 per 1,000 live births, the incidence of hospital-based sepsis is huge in India and about a fifth of neonates with sepsis die in the hospital
  • Now, a community-based trial carried out on newborns in rural Odisha has found that administering synbiotics for a week beginning 2-4 days of life could bring about 42% reduction in sepsis.

About synbiotics:

  • Synbiotics are a combination of probiotic or live microorganisms that provide health benefits and prebiotic which promote growth and sustain colonisation of the probiotic strain.
  • In this case, Lactobacillus plantarum was used as a probiotic. A carbohydrate (fructooligosaccharides) that occurs naturally in plants such as onion, garlic and banana was chosen as the prebiotic.
  • The synbiotics can be introduced as a preventive measure for sepsis. It should be given for seven days, 2-3 days after birth.



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