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Mitigation of virus-induced foetal growth retardation in mice by dietary casein hydrolysate


EXPERIMENTAL infection of pregnant mice with Coxsackievirus B3 induces retarded foetal growth and development of the plasma proteins1,2. Subsequent work in mice indicated that the clinically mild illness induced by the virus in the mother may be largely responsible for the impaired foetal development, even though a direct effect of the virus in the foetus could not be ruled out3. The infection resulted in maternal pancreatitis within 2 d, with the animals being incapable of digesting adequate amounts of important dietary constituents, notably proteins, to maintain normal foetal growth4, in spite of a higher intake of food by the infected mothers. We concluded that the pancreatic lesions resulted in infected animals being deprived of essential dietary proteins, and therefore determined whether the effects of the pathogen could be mitigated or perhaps overcome by the administration of a readily assimilable diet.

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  1. 1

    Coid, C. R., and Ramsden, D. B., Nature, 241, 460 (1973).

  2. 2

    Coid, C. R., Ramsden, D. B., and Healy, M. R. J., Med. Microbiol. Immun., 159, 285 (1974).

  3. 3

    Lansdown, A. B. G., and Coid, C. R., Br. J. exp. Pathol. 55, 101 (1974).

  4. 4

    Lansdown, A. B. G., and Ellaby, S. J., Histochemistry, 40, 175 (1974).

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