Effect of water-soluble fraction from lysozyme-treated Enterococcus faecalis FK-23 on mortality caused by influenza A virus in mice.
ABSTRACT To maintain homeostasis of the immune system is considered important for the prevention of influenza A virus infection. Aberrant systemic inflammation is frequently induced by influenza A virus infection, and the severity of the symptoms is associated with pathogenicity of the virus. Lactic acid bacteria are known to have a positive effect in maintaining the immune system. Furthermore, preparations of a lactic acid bacteria strain, Enterococcus faecalis FK-23 (FK-23), have been reported to exert preferable homeostatic effects on immune diseases such as allergic rhinitis and early asthmatic responses. In this study, we examined the efficacy of the water-soluble fraction of lysed and heat-treated FK-23 (SLFK) against a lethal influenza A virus challenge. Mice were orally administered SLFK from day -7 to day 20, and intranasally infected with influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1) at 10(3) PFU on day 0. The survival rate of SLFK-administered mice after influenza A virus infection was significantly improved compared with that of control mice. In addition, the mRNA expression level of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) in lung tissues was enhanced by the oral administration of SLFK after influenza A virus infection. These observations suggest that the oral administration of SLFK exerts a protective effect against influenza virus infection through the activation of the anti-inflammatory response.