The oral administration of bacterial extracts prevents asthma via the recruitment of regulatory T cells to the airways

Mucosal Immunol. 2011 Jan;4(1):53-65. doi: 10.1038/mi.2010.51. Epub 2010 Sep 1.


The prevalence of asthma has steadily increased during the last decade, probably as the result of changes in the environment, including reduced microbial exposure during infancy. Accordingly, experimental studies have shown that deliberate infections with live pathogens prevent the development of allergic airway diseases in mice. Bacterial extracts are currently used in children suffering from repeated upper respiratory tract infections. In the present study, we have investigated whether bacterial extracts, commercially available as Broncho-Vaxom (BV), could prevent allergic airway disease in mice. Oral treatment with BV suppressed airway inflammation through interleukin-10 (IL-10)-dependent and MyD88 (myeloid differentiation primary response gene (88))-dependent mechanisms and induced the conversion of FoxP3 (forkhead box P3)(-) T cells into FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells. Furthermore, CD4(+) T cells purified from the trachea of BV-treated mice conferred protection against airway inflammation when adoptively transferred into sensitized mice. Therefore, treatment with BV could possibly be a safe and efficient strategy to prevent the development of allergic diseases in children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Asthma* / immunology
  • Asthma* / prevention & control
  • Bacteria* / cytology
  • Bacteria* / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88 / metabolism
  • Respiratory System* / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory* / immunology


  • Broncho-Vaxom
  • Cytokines
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Foxp3 protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-10
  • Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88