Rotavirus (RV) is the main cause of gastroenteritis in children. Prebiotics and, more recently, postbiotics are used for preventing and treating gastrointestinal infections. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of a Lactofidus™, short-chain galacto-oligosaccharides (scGOS) and long-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (lcFOS) mixture, and their combination on RV infection, in a rat model, for early life diarrhea. Fifteen litters of suckling rats were intragastrically administered daily with the vehicle, the prebiotic mixture, the postbiotic or the combination. The RV was inoculated on day 5 and then fecal samples were clinically evaluated daily. Viral shedding, intestinal permeability assay, in vitro blocking assay, immunoglobulin profiles, and anti-RV response were assessed at day 8 and 16 of life. Cecal microbiota composition, intestinal gene expression, and short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) were analyzed at day 16. The incidence and severity of diarrhea were significantly reduced by all the supplementations. Moreover, they showed blocking activity, changes in the immunoglobulin profiles, in gut microbiota, and in the intestinal gene expression. The prebiotic mixture reduced gut permeability and changed the SCFA profile, whereas the postbiotic enhanced the expression of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). The combination preserved most of the individual observed effects, and furthermore, complementary effects, such as an increase in white blood cells and lymphocytes recruitment, as well as upregulation of TLR7 and TLR9 gene expression.
- Suckling rats