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Open Access Effects of Racecadotril on Weight Loss and Diarrhea Due to Human Rotavirus in Neonatal Gnotobiotic Pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus)

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Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death in children younger than 5 y, and the most common cause of acute watery diarrhea in young children worldwide is rotaviral infection. Medicines to specifically reduce diarrhea would be a desirable adjunctive treatment to supportive fluid therapy to decrease the mortality rate of diarrheal diseases. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of an antisecretory drug, racecadotril, in treating human rotavirus (HRV)-induced diarrhea in a neonatal gnotobiotic pig model. In total, 27 gnotobiotic pigs were randomly assigned (n = 9 per group) to receive either racecadotril, chlorpromazine (positive-control drug), or PBS (mock treatment) after inoculation with HRV. Pigs were weighed daily and rectal swabs were collected to determine fecal consistency scores and virus shedding. Rotaviral infection was confirmed by ELISA and cell culture immunofluorescence. Overall, the racecadotril-treated pigs had less severe illness than either the chlorpromazine- or mock-treated groups; this conclusion was supported by the lower fecal-consistency scores, shorter duration of diarrhea, and significant gain in body weight during the course of the study of the racecadotril-treated pigs. Through its influence on decreasing intestinal hypersecretion, racecadotril was better able to control the clinical signs of rotaviral infection in the gnotobiotic pigs. These results lend support for using racecadotril as a treatment for rotaviral diarrhea.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia–Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg, Virginia 2: Department of Statistics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 3: Departments of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia–Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg, Virginia 4: PATH, San Francisco, California 5: Departments of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia–Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg, Virginia;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 April 2017

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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