Sarker SA, Casswall TH, Juneja LR, Hoq E, Hossain I, Fuchs GJ, Hammarström L
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2001 Jan 32:19-25



BACKGROUND: Hyperimmunized bovine colostrum containing antibodies has been shown to be effective in the treatment of rotavirus diarrhea. Antibodies derived from eggs of immunized hens may be a less expensive and more practical alternative. In this study, children with proven rotavirus diarrhea were treated with immunoglobulin extracted from eggs of chicken immunized with human rotavirus strains. METHODS: In a randomized, double-blind study, 79 children with known rotavirus diarrhea were assigned to receive either 10 g hyperimmune egg yolk (HEY) daily in four equally divided doses for 4 days (HEY group) or a similar preparation obtained from nonimmunized chicken (placebo group). The daily stool frequency and amount, oral rehydration solution iORS) intake, and presence of rotavirus in the stool were monitored for 4 days. RESULTS: In the HEY-treated group, there was significant reduction in stool output (in grams per kilogram per day; HEY vs. placebo; 87+/-59 vs. 120+/-75, P = 0.03), and significant reduction of ORS intake (in milliliters per kilogram per day) (HEY vs. placebo; 84+/-46 vs. 122+/-72, P = 0.008) on day 1 and clearance of virus on day 4 (HEY vs. placebo; 73% vs. 46%, P = 0.02). There was, however, no difference in diarrheal duration between the groups. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with HEY against four human rotavirus strains resulted in modest improvement of diarrhea associated with earlier clearance of rotavirus from stools. These results indicate an encouraging role of HEY in the treatment of rotavirus-induced diarrhea in children. Further studies are needed to optimize the dose and neutralization titer and thus improve the efficacy of egg yolk immunoglobulin IgY derived from immunized hens.

Author Address
Clinical Sciences Division, International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) Centre for Health and Population Research, Dhaka.