Immunoprophylactic effects of shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) against Bordetella bronchiseptica in mice

J Microbiol. 2012 Dec;50(6):1003-8. doi: 10.1007/s12275-012-2365-1. Epub 2012 Dec 30.


Antimicrobials are used as feed additives to improve growth performance and to prevent subclinical disease challenge in industrial animals. However, these drugs can lead to the development of resistant strains of bacteria. Shiitake mushrooms (SM) (Lentinula edodes) have long been popular as a health food in East Asia. Moreover, SM-derived polysaccharides are well-known as immunostimulants that possess antimicrobial properties. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the immunoprophylactic effects of SM against Bordetella bronchiseptica infection in mice as an initial step towards the development of eco-friendly feed additives to reduce the use of antimicrobials. Although SM had no effect on body weight gain under the un-infected conditions, SM alleviated progressive weight loss and helped in the recovery of body weight in B. bronchiseptica infected mice. Dietary supplementation with SM reinforced bacterial clearance in the infected mice. Of note, SM markedly increased the percentage of various T lymphocytes and the relative mRNA expression levels of tumor necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ in the bronchial lymph node early in the infection. Taken together, these findings suggest that SM could help in the improvement of body weight gain during B. bronchiseptica infection and may enhance the protective immune activity against a subclinical disease challenge, such as B. bronchiseptica infection in mice, probably by a strong stimulation of non-specific immune responses. Hence, SM may provide an alternative to reduce use of antimicrobials. Confirmation of the beneficial effects of SM as a feed additive is now required in industrial animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Bordetella Infections / diet therapy
  • Bordetella Infections / immunology*
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica / drug effects
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica / immunology*
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Fungal Polysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Lymph Nodes / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Shiitake Mushrooms* / chemistry
  • Shiitake Mushrooms* / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology


  • Fungal Polysaccharides
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interferon-gamma