Oral ingestion of immunoglobulins in humans has been shown to be effective as prophylaxis against enteric infections. However, its therapeutic effect in children with infectious diarrhea has hitherto not been proven. We treated children with rotavirus diarrhea with immunoglobulins extracted from immunized bovine colostrum (IIBC) containing high titers of antibodies against four rotavirus serotypes.
In this double blind placebo-controlled trial, 80 children with rotavirus diarrhea were randomly assigned to receive orally either 10 g of IIBC (containing 3.6 g of antirotavirus antibodies) daily for 4 days or the same amount of a placebo preparation. The daily stool output (grams/kg/day), intake of oral rehydration solution (ml/kg/day), stool frequency (number of stools/day) and presence of rotavirus in stool were monitored for the 4 days during treatment.
Children who received IIBC had significantly less daily and total stool output and stool frequency and required a smaller amount of oral rehydration solution than did children who received placebo (P < 0.05). Clearance of rotavirus from the stool was also earlier in the IIBC group compared with the placebo group (mean day, 1.5 vs. 2.9, P < 0.001). No adverse reactions from the colostrum treatment were observed.
Treatment with antirotavirus immunoglobulin of bovine colostral origin is effective in the management of children with acute rotavirus diarrhea.