Human milk contains many bioactive components, including secretory IgA, oligosaccharides, and milk-associated proteins. We assessed the antiviral effects of several components of milk against mammalian reoviruses. We found that glucocerebroside (GCB) inhibited the infectivity of reovirus strain type 1 Lang (T1L), whereas gangliosides GD3 and GM3 and 3'-sialyllactose (3SL) inhibited the infectivity of reovirus strain type 3 Dearing (T3D). Agglutination of erythrocytes mediated by T1L and T3D was inhibited by GD3, GM3, and bovine lactoferrin. Additionally, α-sialic acid, 3SL, 6'-sialyllactose, sialic acid, human lactoferrin, osteopontin, and α-lactalbumin inhibited hemagglutination mediated by T3D. Using single-gene reassortant viruses, we found that serotype-specific differences segregate with the gene encoding the viral attachment protein. Furthermore, GD3, GM3, and 3SL inhibit T3D infectivity by blocking binding to host cells, whereas GCB inhibits T1L infectivity post-attachment. These results enhance an understanding of reovirus cell attachment and define a mechanism for the antimicrobial activity of human milk.
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