Rotavirus induces a biphasic enterotoxic and cytotoxic response in human-derived intestinal enterocytes, which is inhibited by human immunoglobulins.
Oral administration of human serum immunoglobulin reduces the duration of diarrhea and of rotaviral excretion in children. To investigate the in vitro effects of immunoglobulin on virusenterocyte interaction, Caco-2 cells were infected with Rotavirus strain SA11. Immunoglobulin was added prior to and at various times postinfection. Indirect immunofluorescence was performed with an antibody against VP-6 rotaviral antigen. Cell viability and monolayer transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) were monitored. Immunofluorescence showed a perinuclear distribution in 90% of cells.Rotavirus infection induced a progressive decrease in TEER and a parallel reduction in cell viability, depending on viral load. Preincubation of the virus with immunoglobulin prevented cell infection as judged by immunofluorescence. Immunoglobulin addition to infected cells partially prevented the decrease in TEER and induced a later shift of TEER toward increasing values, suggesting restoration of monolayer's integrity. The efficacy of immunoglobulin depended on its concentration and on the time of its addition. These results indicate that immunoglobulin is effective in preventing infection and in reducing cell damage, through a direct anti-Rotavirus action and may indicate that immunoglobulin should be administered in the early phase of diarrhea, to reduce the severity ofRotavirus infection.