Human Lactobacillus sp strain GG (Lactobacillus GG) administered during acute rotavirus diarrhea has been shown to promote clinical recovery. To elucidate the immune mechanisms behind such a favorable outcome, the ELISPOT (solid phase enzyme-linked immunospot) assay of Ig- and specific antibody-secreting cells among circulating lymphocytes was used, giving indirect evidence of the immunologic events in the gut. After rehydration, 39 children with acute rotavirus diarrhea, mean age 16 (SD 6) mo, randomly received either a Lactobacillus GG fermented milk product (study group) or a pasteurized yogurt (placebo group). The duration of diarrhea was significantly shorter in the study group than in the placebo group [mean 1.1 (SD 0.6) versus 2.5 (SD 1.4)d, p = 0.001]. Lactobacillus GG therapy was associated with a significantly enhanced nonspecific humoral response during the acute phase of the infection, reflected in the IgG, IgA, and IgM Ig-secreting cell numbers. At convalescence, 90% of the study group versus 46% of the placebo group had developed an IgA specific antibody-secreting cell response to rotavirus (p = 0.006). The results indicate that Lactobacillus GG promotes recovery from rotavirus diarrhea via augmentation of the local immune defense. Furthermore, specific IgA response to rotavirus is endorsed, which is possibly relevant in protection against reinfections.
Source: Pediatr Res. 1992 Aug;32(2):141-4.