Yogurt fermented with Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus OLL1073R-1 (1073R-1) has been shown to reduce the risk of catching cold in the healthy elderly (Makino et al., Br. J. Nutr., 104, 998-1006, 2010). In addition, the exopolysaccharides (EPS) produced by 1073R-1 were also reported to exert immunostimulatory effects in mice such as the augmentation of NK cell activity (Makino et al., J. Dairy Sci., 89, 2873-81, 2006). So, we investigated anti-influenza virus effects of this yogurt and EPS in mice. The yogurt (0.4 ml/day) and EPS (20 μg/day) were orally administered to BALB/c mice for 21 days prior to intranasal infection with influenza virus A/PR/8/34 (H1N1). As a result, the survival periods were prolonged in both yogurt- and EPS-treated groups compared to the water-treated group. Moreover, in these groups, we observed significant decrease of influenza virus titer and significant increase of anti-influenza virus antibodies (IgA, IgG(1)) in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid at 4 days post infection NK cell activity of splenocytes in both groups was also increased significantly. EPS was further fractionated into neutral EPS (NPS) and acidic EPS (APS), and the NPS (20 μg/day) or the APS (20 μg/day) was orally administered to mice for 21 days prior to the intranasal infection. The survival periods were prolonged in APS-treated group, but not in NPS-treated group. Consequently, we concluded that the yogurt fermented with 1073R-1 exerted anti-influenza virus effects in mice by its immunopotentiating activity, and suggested that the APS produced by 1073R-1 was one of active ingredients.
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