Probiotic supplementation with different lactobacilli and bifidobacterial strains has demonstrated beneficial effects in infectious diarrhea caused by rotavirus (RV) in young children. Preclinical models of RV infection might be a good strategy to screen for the efficacy of new probiotic strains or to test their comparative efficacy. Neonatal Lewis rats were supplemented with Bifidobacterium breve M-16V, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, Lactobacillus helveticus R0052, or Lactobacillus salivarius PS2 from days 2–14 of life. On day five, animals received RV SA-11 orally. Fecal samples were collected daily, weighed, and scored for the calculation of severity and incidence of diarrhea. In addition, fecal pH and fecal viral shedding were measured. Animals were sacrificed at the end of the study and their blood was obtained for the quantification of RV-specific immunoglobulins. RV infection was induced in ~90% of the animals. All probiotics caused a reduction of several clinical variables of severity and incidence of diarrhea, except L. salivarius PS2. L. acidophilus NCFM, B. breve M-16V, and L. helveticus R0052 seemed to be very effective probiotic strains. In addition, all Lactobacillus strains reduced the viral elimination one day post-inoculation. No differences were detected in the specific anti-RV humoral response. The present study highlights the strain-specific effects of probiotics and identifies promising probiotics for use in ameliorating and preventing RV-induced diarrhea in children, for example by including them in infant formulas.
- Suckling rats