Rotavirus infection is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children younger than 5 years of age.
Current treatment options are limited.
Dr Shafiqul Sarker and colleagues from India assessed the efficacy of a llama-derived, heavy-chain antibody fragment called anti-rotavirus protein (ARP1), in modifying the severity and duration of diarrhea in male infants with rotavirus infection.
The research team performed a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 176 male infants with severe rotavirus-associated diarrhea at Dhaka Hospital, Bangladesh.
The infants were randomly assigned to groups given oral ARP1 or placebo for a maximum of 5 days.
|Total cumulative stool output was 305.47 g/kg body weight among those given placebo |
The primary outcomes were severity (stool output) and duration of diarrhea and fecal excretion of rotavirus.
The team's secondary outcomes were intake of oral rehydration salt solution, severity of vomiting, and serum levels of rotavirus-specific IgA.
In infants with only rotavirus infection, total cumulative stool output was 305.47 g/kg body weight among those given placebo, and 237.03 g/kg body weight among those given ARP1.
The research team found a significant reduction in rate of stool output (g/kg/d) in the ARP1 group compared with the placebo group.
The team noted that ARP1 had no significant effect in infants with concomitant infections or on any other measured outcomes.
No adverse events could be linked to ARP1.
Dr Sarker's team concludes, "In a placebo-controlled trial, ARP1 reduced stool output in male infants with severe rotavirus-associated diarrhea."