A placebo-controlled study that used DuPont’s BI-04 strain of Bifidobacterium lactis was conducted at the University of Virginia and involved evaluation of more than 100 study participants drawn from the university campus. The results showed that supplementation with 2 billion CFUs of BI-04 had a modest effect on an inflammatory marker measured in nasal lavage, or the fluid obtained after the nasal passages were irrigated. The results also suggested an antiviral effect in that fewer viral cells showed up in the nasal lavage of the treatment group.
The study authors noted that the general trend of research has shown that probiotic supplementation can have beneficial effects in up-regulating the immune system response to upper respiratory tract infections. The mechanism of action for this effect remains unclear, they noted, and said that more research is called for.
“Our study suggests that ingestion of Bl-04 may modulate innate host responses in the nose and may impact virus replication in humans. Although these effects were modest and seem insufficient to explain reduction in illness reported in the natural setting, the results do suggest the utility of further investigations of the effect of specific probiotics on innate immune function in the human host. Whether different preparations or doses or intranasal administration of Bl-04 would enhance the effect of probiotics on rhinovirus infection and illness remains to be determined,”the authors wrote.
Study participants were recruited in 2013 from the University of Virginia community. The researchers selected participants who were healthy and were judged to be susceptible to the challenge virus, RV-A39. The treatment preparation or placebo (2 billion CFUs of BI-04 on 1 gram of sucrose as a carrier, or 1 gram of straight sucrose as a placebo) was consumed daily in a drink by the two groups, 58 in the probiotic group and 57 in the placebo cohort. The virus and the immune markers were analyzed from nasal washes, collected before and after Bl-04 supplementation and for 5 days after the introduction of the rhinovirus challenge.
While the BI-04 intervention had the measured effects on the inflammation marker and on viral cell count in the nasal passages, it did not affect the course of the illness in the lungs themselves.
“The administration of probiotic did not influence lower respiratory inflammation (assessed by exhaled nitric oxide), subjective symptom scores, or infection rate,” the researchers wrote.
“The effects observed in this short-term, well-controlled study were modest and may only partially explain reduction in illness reported in the natural setting,” said Dr. Ron Turner, MD, professor of Pediatrics, University of Virginia School of Medicine.“However, the results do suggest the utility of further investigations of the effect of specific probiotics on innate immune function in the human host.”
Source: Beneficial Microbes
Effect of probiotic on innate inflammatory response and viral shedding in experimental rhinovirus infection –a randomised controlled trial
2017 Apr 26;8(2):207-215. doi: 10.3920/BM2016.0160
Authors: Turner RB, Woodfolk JA, Borish L, et al.
NutraIngredients-USA will host the third annual Probiotia Americas event in San Francisco on June 7-9. The event features presentation from experts from academia, industry, and regulatory agencies. The event is held in concert with the World Congress of the International Probiotics Association. Scientists from DuPont will present recent data from studies supporting the efficacy of probiotics in combination with prebiotics for weight management. DuPont is also a Diamond Sponsor of this event. For more information or to register, click here.