Bovine colostrum ameliorates diarrhea in infection with diarrheagenic Escherichia coli, shiga toxin-producing E. Coli, and E. coli expressing intimin and hemolysin

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1999 Oct;29(4):452-6. doi: 10.1097/00005176-199910000-00015.


Background: Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli may cause serious extraintestinal complications, but there is no specific treatment.

Methods: Patients with diarrhea caused by diarrheagenic E. coli, specifically Shiga toxin-producing E. coli and E. coli-expressing intimin and enterohemorrhagic E. coli-hemolysin were treated by administration of pooled bovine colostrum, rich in antibodies to Shiga toxin and enterohemorrhagic E. coli-hemolysin, in a placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Symptom resolution and fecal excretion of infecting strains were assessed.

Results: No side effects were attributable to colostrum. Stool frequencies in the group treated with bovine colostrum were significantly reduced compared with those in the placebo group. No effect of therapy on the carriage of the pathogens or on complications of the infection could be demonstrated.

Conclusions: Bovine colostrum is well tolerated and diminishes frequency of loose stools in children with E. coli-associated diarrhea. A prospective study should be conducted among a larger number of children with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli identified early in illness, to determine the effectiveness of colostrum therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Bacterial*
  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Bacterial Toxins / biosynthesis*
  • Carrier Proteins*
  • Cattle
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Colostrum*
  • Diarrhea, Infantile / metabolism
  • Diarrhea, Infantile / microbiology
  • Diarrhea, Infantile / therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Enterotoxins / biosynthesis*
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity
  • Escherichia coli Infections / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli Infections / therapy*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins*
  • Female
  • Hemolysin Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Serotyping
  • Shiga Toxins
  • Virulence


  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Enterotoxins
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • Shiga Toxins
  • eaeA protein, E coli