An extract of the mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill administered orally protects against systemic Streptococcus pneumoniae infection in mice

Scand J Immunol. 2005 Oct;62(4):393-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.2005.01667.x.


The aim was to investigate the antibacterial effect of the biologically active and edible mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill (AbM). A water extract of AbM or PBS control was administered orally before or with challenge to NIH/OlaHsd mice, experimentally infected intraperitoneally with the moderately virulent Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 6B. End points were bacteraemia and survival rate. The AbM extract, protected against systemic S. pneumoniae 6B infection in the mice. It was most effective when given 24 h before inoculation but did also have protective effects when given together with challenge compared with control. The lack of antibiotic effect on pneumococci in vitro and increased levels of cytokines MIP-2 and TNF-alpha in the serum of mice receiving AbM extract, indicated that the protective effect of AbM was due to the involvement of the native immune system. This is the first report of anti-infection effects of AbM in vivo. Our results suggest that AbM extract may be useful as additional prophylactic and possibly therapeutic treatment against bacterial and possibly other infections in humans.

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage*
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use
  • Administration, Oral
  • Agaricus / chemistry
  • Agaricus / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / immunology
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Mice
  • Pneumococcal Infections / immunology
  • Pneumococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cytokines