Hyperimmune bovine colostrum for treatment of GI infections: a review and update on Clostridium difficile

Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2013 Jul;9(7):1565-8. doi: 10.4161/hv.24078. Epub 2013 Feb 22.


Hyperimmune bovine colostrum (HBC), produced by vaccination of a cow during gestation, is rich in targeted immunoglobulins, and can be used to treat a variety of diseases. The published history of HBC use for treating gastrointestinal infections in humans has developed over the past several decades and demonstrates the promise of this type of therapeutic for GI infectious disease. HBC, or purified derivative products, have been used successfully for treatment or prevention of cryptosporidiosis, shigellosis, rotavirus, enterotoxigenic E. coli, and C. difficile infection (CDI). Given the positive results of previous studies using HBC for treatment of CDI, we have produced HBC with antibodies against the two most important virulence factors of C. difficile, TcdA and TcdB, using a novel recombinant vaccine. Our preliminary results demonstrate efficacy of the HBC product for treatment of CDI in the gnotobiotic piglet model, and warrant more thorough investigation. HBC may provide an effective treatment alternative to antibiotics, which can spare the normal gut microflora, and reduce rates of recurrence and antibiotic resistance.

Keywords: Clostridium difficile; diarrhea; gastrointestinal infection; hyperimmune bovine colostrum; prevention; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Bacterial Toxins / immunology*
  • Cattle
  • Clostridioides difficile / immunology*
  • Colostrum / immunology*
  • Cryptosporidiosis / immunology
  • Cryptosporidiosis / prevention & control
  • Cryptosporidiosis / therapy
  • Dysentery, Bacillary / immunology
  • Dysentery, Bacillary / prevention & control
  • Dysentery, Bacillary / therapy
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / immunology
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / prevention & control
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / therapy*
  • Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli
  • Enterotoxins / immunology*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / immunology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / prevention & control
  • Escherichia coli Infections / therapy
  • Helicobacter Infections / immunology
  • Helicobacter Infections / prevention & control
  • Helicobacter Infections / therapy
  • Helicobacter pylori / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / immunology
  • Rotavirus Infections / immunology
  • Rotavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Rotavirus Infections / therapy
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Enterotoxins
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • tcdA protein, Clostridium difficile
  • toxB protein, Clostridium difficile