The aim of this study was to evaluate probiotic characteristics of Lactobacillus salivarius LS01 and Bifidobacterium breve BR03 alone and in combination and their immunomodulatory activity in asthmatic subjects. Subjects affected by allergic asthma were recruited. Initially, LS01 and BR03 were analyzed for their growth compatibility by a broth compatibility assay. To study the antimicrobial activity of probiotic strains, an agar diffusion assay was performed. Finally, cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) stimulated with LS01 and BR03 was determined by means of specific quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The growth of some clinical pathogens were slightly inhibited by LS01 and LS01-BR03 co-culture supernatant not neutralized to pH 6.5, while only the growth of E. coli and S. aureus was inhibited by the supernatant of LS01 and LS01-BR03 neutralized to pH 6.5. Furthermore, LS01 and BR03 combination was able to decrease the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines by PBMCs, leading to an intense increase in IL-10 production. L. salivarius LS01 and B. breve BR03 showed promising probiotic properties and beneficial immunomodulatory activity that are increased when the 2 strains are used in combination in the same formulation.
Keywords: Asthma; immune system; probiotics.