Viral infections of the gastrointestinal tract constitute a major health problem during the first years of life. In addition to causing acute diarrhea, rotaviruses and other enteric viruses may be involved in the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis and other neonatal enteric diseases. There are several potential methods for the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal viral infections. Antiviral immune globulins, administered by the parenteral or oral route, might prove useful for the inhibition of intestinal viral replication. Alternatively, specific glycoprotein inhibitors of viral-cell binding might be used to prevent the productive infection of intestinal epithelial cells. In addition, since many enteric viruses require proteolytic enzymes for protein cleavage, protease inhibitors may prove to be effective agents for the inhibition of intestinal viral replication. At this point in time, these methods have proven useful for the inhibition of rotavirus infection in experimental animals. The successful application of these and other methods for the prevention of enteric infections in humans might substantially reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with enteric diseases.
- Enteric infection
- necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
- protease inhibitors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy