Different probiotic strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera possess significant and widely acknowledged health-promoting and immunomodulatory properties. They also provide an affordable means for prevention and treatment of various infectious, allergic and inflammatory conditions as demonstrated in numerous human and animal studies. Despite the ample evidence of protective effects of these probiotics against rotavirus (RV) infection and disease, the precise immune mechanisms of this protection remain largely undefined, because of limited mechanistic research possible in humans and investigated in the majority of animal models. Additionally, while most human clinical probiotic trials are well-standardized using the same strains, uniform dosages, regimens of the probiotic treatments and similar host age, animal studies often lack standardization, have variable experimental designs, and non-uniform and sometime limited selection of experimental variables or observational parameters. This review presents selected data on different probiotic strains of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria and summarizes the knowledge of their immunomodulatory properties and the associated protection against RV disease in diverse host species including neonates.
Keywords: Bifidobacteria; Diarrhea; Immunomodulation; Lactobacilli; Probiotics; Rotavirus.
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