Addition of Maitake D-fraction reduces the effective dosage of vancomycin for the treatment of Listeria-infected mice

Jpn J Pharmacol. 2001 Dec;87(4):327-32. doi: 10.1254/jjp.87.327.


Maitake D-fraction, beta1,6-glucan having beta1,3-branches, has been reported to activate the immune system of the host. To elucidate whether the D-fraction can reduce the clinical effective dosage of antibiotics in the treatment of opportunistic bacterial infection, we examined the effects of D-fraction on the treatment of Listeria monocytogenes-infected mice in combination with vancomycine (VCM), the only antibiotic used for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Listeria-infection was introduced by its inoculation into the abdominal cavity of mice. Without treatment, all inoculated mice died within 3 days after the inoculation. In contrast, in the mice treated with combined therapy of D-faction (10 mg/kg per day) and VCM (10 mg/kg per day), the survival rate was maintained at 60% on the 10th day after the inoculation, which was superior to that of mice treated with VCM alone (10 mg/kg per day). To investigate the mechanism underlying the reinforcement of VCM treatment by the D-fraction, the activities of macrophages and splenic T cells of Listeria-infected mice were evaluated. In mice administered with both D-fraction and VCM, macrophages produced 2.7 times as much interleukin-1 as that of non-treated control mice. The bactericidal activity of splenic T cells was also enhanced by 2.6 times of that of non-treated control mice. These results indicate that D-fraction activates immuno-competent cells, induced cytokine production, and consequently enhanced the bactericidal activities of the splenic T cells against Listeria monocytogenes, suggesting the clinical benefit of D-fraction in the case of anti-bacterial treatment for patients with high risks.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / microbiology
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Agaricales / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Bactericidal Activity / drug effects
  • Immunotherapy
  • Interleukin-1 / biosynthesis
  • Listeriosis / drug therapy*
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / drug effects
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Peritoneal Cavity / microbiology
  • Survival Analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Interleukin-1
  • Vancomycin