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Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

To investigate the prevention of OM-85 on bronchiectasis exacerbations (iPROBE) in Chinese patients: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Jinming Gao1*, Xiang Gao23 and Lingfei Kong4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Respiratory Diseases, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, #1 Shuaifuyuan, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100730, People’s Republic of China

2 Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 181 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA

3 Department of Nutrition, Harvard University School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA

4 Department of Respiratory Diseases, The First Hospital of China Medical University, #155, Nanjing Street North, Shenyang 110001, Liaoning Province, People’s Republic of China

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Trials 2014, 15:150  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-150

Published: 29 April 2014



Non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis is characterized by the irreversible dilatation of the medium-sized bronchi as a result of airway injury from recurrent or chronic inflammation and lower respiratory tract infections. Bronchiectasis airways are commonly colonized with bacterial species. Infections of the airways play important role in bronchiectasis exacerbations. The non-specific prevention of recurrent airway infections by immunostimulating agents has gained growing interest. OM-85, consisting of extracts of eight kinds of bacteria important in respiratory infections, could support the respiratory tract resistance to the pathogens. OM-85 has been shown to be a benefit by decreasing the risk of acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in several perspective clinical trials. Exacerbation of bronchiectasis substantially contributes to a more rapid decline in lung function, reduced quality of life, and healthcare costs. In this context, we plan to conduct a clinical trial to investigate the PReventive effect of OM-85 on Bronchiectasis Exacerbation in Chinese patients (iPROBE).


This study is designed as a prospective, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial. A total of 244 patients with bronchiectasis, who have had at least one exacerbation of bronchiectasis in the previous year, will be included. The subjects will randomly receive two courses of 7 mg of OM-85 or a matching placebo. The treatment dose of OM-85 will be one daily capsule taken orally for 10 days each month for 3 consecutive months at the beginning of the study, followed by 3 months of no drug. This schedule will repeat until the patient has been seen for one year.


We will investigate whether long-term treatment with an oral immunostimulant (OM-85) could decrease exacerbations of bronchiectasis over a one-year period. We will also assess other relevant outcomes, including the rate of event-based exacerbation, lung function parameters, and total scores judged by the St George’s respiratory questionnaire, Leicester cough questionnaire, and inflammatory index. We hope that this study will provide new information on the preventive effects of OM-85 on bronchiectasis exacerbations and will address a knowledge gap for this understudied disease.

Trial registration

This study is registered at webcite (identifier NCT01968421) on 19 October 2013.

OM-85; Bronchiectasis; Placebo; Pulmonary exacerbation