Treatment of diarrhea, with immunoglobulins from bovine colostrum.

Treatment of diarrhea in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with immunoglobulins from bovine colostrum.

Author information

  • 1Abteilung Rheumatologie, Medizinische Universitäts-Klinik Freiburg.


Diarrhea and weight loss are found in more than 50% of patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). In some patients the symptoms can be very severe, leading to death even in the absence of opportunistic infections. In 30% of these patients, enteric pathogens cannot be identified, and approximately only half of the identifiable aetiologic agents of diarrhea in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were treatable with antibiotics. Immunoglobulins from bovine colostrum (Lactobin, Biotest, Dreieich, FRG) contain high titers of antibodies against a wide range of bacterial, viral and protozoal pathogens as well as against various bacterial toxins.

Lactobin (LIG) is quite resistant to 24-h incubation with gastric juice. In a multi-center pilot study 37 immunodeficiency patients with chronic diarrhea [29 HIV-infected patients, 2 patients with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), one unidentified immunodeficiency, five patients with graft versus host disease (GvHD) following bone marrow transplantation] were treated with oral LIG (10 g/day for 10 days).

Good therapeutic effects were observed. Out of 31 treatment periods in 29 HIV-infected patients 21 gave good results leading to transient (10 days) or long-lasting (more than 4 weeks) normalisation of the stool frequency. The mean daily stool frequency decreased from 7.4 to 2.2 at the end of the treatment. Eight HIV-infected patients showed no response. The diarrhoea recurred in 12 patients within 4 weeks (32.4%), while 19 patients were free of diarrhea for at least 4 weeks (51.3%). In 5 patients intestinal cryptosporidiosis disappeared following oral LIG treatment. LIG treatment was also beneficial in 4 out of 5 GvHD patients.