Oral treatment with probiotics reduces allergic symptoms in ovalbumin-sensitized mice: a bacterial strain comparative study

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2010;151(2):107-17. doi: 10.1159/000236000. Epub 2009 Sep 15.


Background/aim: Evidence demonstrating an important role of the intestinal microbiota in the incidence of allergic disorders has led to the concept of using probiotics as possible antiallergic therapy. This study aimed to select a bacterial strain with the best antiallergic treatment effects from a panel of 6 bacterial strains in a mouse model of ovalbumin(OVA)-allergic asthma.

Methods: OVA-sensitized BALB/c mice were orally administered the bacterial strains Bifidobacterium breve M-16V, B. infantis NumRes251, B. animalis NumRes252 and NumRes253, Lactobacillus plantarum NumRes8 and L. rhamnosus NumRes6. After challenge by OVA inhalation in the lungs, the response to methacholine was measured. Pulmonary inflammation was assessed by analyzing bronchoalveolar lavage fluid for the presence of eosinophils, neutrophils, macrophages and lymphocytes and for interleukin 4, interleukin 5, interleukin 10 and interferon-gamma. OVA-specific IgE, IgG1 and IgG2a were measured in serum. Next, the effect on acute allergic skin reaction was measured after treatment with B. breve M-16V and L. plantarum NumRes8.

Results: Of the panel of 6 strains, B. breve M-16V and L. plantarum NumRes8 inhibited (1) the response to methacholine, (2) reduced the number of eosinophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, (3) reduced both OVA-specific IgE and (4) OVA-specific IgG1, whereas the other strains did not affect all these parameters simultaneously. B. breve M-16V but not L. plantarum NumRes8 reduced interleukin 4, interleukin 5 and interleukin 10. Furthermore, B. breve M-16V but not L. plantarum NumRes8 reduced acute allergic skin reactions to OVA.

Conclusion: B. breve M-16V was identified as the most potent antiallergic strain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Asthma / diet therapy*
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Asthma / pathology
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Bifidobacterium
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / physiopathology
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Cell Count
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-5 / metabolism
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Neutrophils / pathology
  • Ovalbumin / immunology*
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Pulmonary Eosinophilia / pathology
  • Skin Tests
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Vaccination


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Interleukin-5
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-4
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Ovalbumin