Anti-rotavirus protein reduces stool output in infants with diarrhea: a randomized placebo-controlled trial

Gastroenterology. 2013 Oct;145(4):740-748.e8. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.06.053. Epub 2013 Jul 2.


Background & aims: Rotavirus infection is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children younger than 5 years of age. Current treatment options are limited. We assessed the efficacy of a llama-derived, heavy-chain antibody fragment called anti-rotavirus protein (ARP1), in modifying the severity and duration of diarrhea in male infants with rotavirus infection.

Methods: We performed a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 176 male infants (6-24 months old) with severe rotavirus-associated diarrhea at Dhaka Hospital, Bangladesh. The infants were randomly assigned to groups given oral ARP1 (15-30 mg/kg/day, n = 88) or placebo (maltodextrin, n = 88) for a maximum of 5 days. The primary outcomes were severity (stool output) and duration of diarrhea and fecal excretion of rotavirus. Secondary outcomes were intake of oral rehydration salt solution, severity of vomiting, and serum levels of rotavirus-specific IgA.

Results: In infants with only rotavirus infection, total cumulative stool output was 305.47 g/kg body weight among those given placebo (n = 63) and 237.03 g/kg body weight among those given ARP1 (n = 61) (a difference of 68.44 g/kg body weight or 22.5%; 95% confidence interval: 18.27-118.59 g/kg body weight; P =.0079). There was a significant reduction in rate of stool output (g/kg/d) in the ARP1 group compared with the placebo group (61%; P = .002). ARP1 had no significant effect in infants with concomitant infections or on any other measured outcomes. No adverse events could be linked to ARP1.

Conclusions: In a placebo-controlled trial, ARP1 reduced stool output in male infants with severe rotavirus-associated diarrhea. number: NCT01259765.

Keywords: ARP1; Acute Diarrhea; Anti-Rotavirus Intervention; CI; Clinical Study; ELISA; ICDDR, B; International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh; ORS; Pediatric; anti-rotavirus protein 1; confidence interval; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; oral rehydration salts.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Diarrhea, Infantile / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Feces / virology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Fragments / adverse effects
  • Immunoglobulin Fragments / therapeutic use*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Rotavirus / immunology*
  • Rotavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Viral Proteins / immunology*


  • Immunoglobulin Fragments
  • Viral Proteins

Associated data