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Effect Of Intranasal Administration OfLactobacillus Casei Shirota On Influenza Virus Infection Of Upper Respiratory Tract In Mice

Tetsuji Hori, Junko Kiyoshima, Kan Shida, Hisako Yasui

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ABSTRACT In mice administered Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS) intranasally, potent induction of interleukin 12, gamma interferon, and tumor necrosis factor alpha, which play a very important role in excluding influenza virus (IFV), was evident in mediastinal lymph node cells. In this model of upper respiratory IFV infection, the titers of virus in the nasal wash of mice inoculated with 200 μg of LcS for three consecutive days (LcS 200 group) before infection were significantly (P < 0.01) lower than those of mice not inoculated with LcS (control group) (100.9 ± 0.6 versus 102.1 ± 1.0). The IFV titer was decreased to about 1/10 of the control level. Using this infection model with modifications, we investigated whether the survival rate of mice was increased by intranasal administration of LcS. The survival rate of the mice in the LcS 200 group was significantly (P < 0.05) greater than that of the mice in the control group (69% versus 15%). It seems that the decrease in the titer of virus in the upper respiratory tract to 1/10 of the control level was important in preventing death. These findings suggest that intranasal administration of LcS enhances cellular immunity in the respiratory tract and protects against influenza virus infection.