Effect of animal plasma proteins on intestinal damage and recovery of neonatal pigs infected with rotavirus
Corl, B.A. | Harrell, R.J. | Moon, H.K. | Phillips, O. | Weaver, E.M. | Campbell, J.M. | Arthington, J.D. | Odle, J.
Rotaviruses infect and elicit diarrhea in neonates of most mammalian species and cause 800,000 infant deaths a year. We used neonatal piglets to study the effects of dietary animal plasma proteins on intestinal health following rotavirus infection. Plasma protein contains a diverse mixture of functional components with biological activity and improves the health of animals challenged with other diarrhea-causing pathogens. In a 2x2 factorial design, we compared plasma protein- and soy protein-based diets in rotavirus-infected and noninfected piglets to determine if plasma protein reduced acute rotavirus intestinal damage or improved recovery. All infected animals shed rotavirus particles in their feces. Infected, plasma protein-fed piglets maintained growth rates similar to noninfected piglets in the first 3 days of infection; however, soy protein-fed piglets experienced reduced gains. Furthermore, infected, plasma protein-fed piglets showed no clinical signs of diarrhea. Infection reduced intestinal villus height and the villus height/crypt depth ratio by Day 3 of infection; however, reductions were not attenuated with dietary plasma protein. Infected, plasma protein-fed pigs maintained greater intestinal mucosa protein and estimated total lactase activity than infected, soy protein-fed piglets. Plasma proteins contain growth factors that may aid in rate of recovery as well as virus-binding proteins that may reduce infection pressure in the intestine. These data, combined with findings from other studies using plasma proteins in animal models of diarrhea, indicate the potential for using plasma proteins to improve the health of diarrheic neonates.Show more [+] Less [-]