In 1954, the term “probiotics” was coined by Ferdinand Vergin in his article. Although there are many clinical reports on the use of pro/synbiotics and other microbial preparations to prevent postoperative infections and related complications in patients with Colorectal cancer (CRC), their effectiveness remains divided. Therefore, we collected relevant high-quality randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies and conducted systematic review and meta-analysis. We electronically searched online databases (the PubMed, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Allied and Alternative Medieine (AMED), China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang, and Weipu) for literature published until December 2020. These reports were rigorously screened, and the data extracted, assessed for risk of bias (ROB), and subjected to meta-analysis and subgroup analysis. Postoperative infections were the main criteria for outcomes. Nineteen high-quality articles were included, involving 1975 patients. Compared with the control group, the pro/synbiotics group had reduced total postoperative infections ((odds ratio)OR = 0.28, 95% (confidence interval)CI: 0.20; 0.39, p < 0.0001), which included surgical site infections (SSI) (OR = 0.43, 95% CI: 0.31; 0.58, p < 0.0001) and non-surgical site infections (non-SSI) (OR = 0.28 95% CI: 0.20; 0.39, p < 0.0001).What is more, in aspects of inflammatory factors, intestinal dysbiosis, non-infectious complications, and systemic symptoms, the treatment group was better than the control group. However, there were no differences in perineal infections (OR = 0.45, 95% CI: 0.13; 1.50, p = 0.1933), celiac infections (OR = 0.54, 95% CI: 0.11; 2.66, p = 0.4471), or systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) incidence (OR = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.31; 1.30, p = 0.2139), etc. There were no differences in intervention (probiotics or synbiotics), strain type (multistrain or non-multistrain probiotics), and intervention time (administration preoperatively or pre-and-postoperatively). Pro/synbiotics can effectively prevent postoperative infections and related complications in patients with CRC. The strain type and intervention time did not affect the treatment effects.
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