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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Here's a surprise: You may spend more time each year nursing a sore throat, fever, and runny nose than you do on vacation. Your mind can cut your chances of catching a cold by 40 to 50%, according to a 2012 University of Wisconsin, Madison, study. This Chinese mind-body exercise combines breath control and slow movements to reduce stress and improve focus, but it may also help combat colds.
People who exercise five or more days a week spend 43% fewer days with upper-respiratory infections, according to an Appalachian State University study. Cleaning your hands frequently—especially after touching anyone or anything that may be germy—is key to defending yourself against cold and flu viruses.
In test-tube studies, the root astragalus (uh-STRAG-uh-lus) activates T-cells, the white blood cells that fight off viruses, and experts believe it can prevent colds in real life too.
The oregano in your spaghetti sauce and the mustard on your turkey sandwich can boost your immune system, says Prevention advisory board member Tieraona Low Dog, MD, the author of Life Is Your Best Medicine. After people in a study at Loma Linda University consumed six tablespoons of sugar (whether in orange juice, honey, or sugary drinks), their infection-fighting white blood cells lost the ability to fend off bacteria and viruses.
If you're carrying extra pounds, the flu vaccine won't work as well, and if you do get a bug, you're likely to become sicker.
If you come down with a virus, your doctor may tell you to drink plenty of fluids to reduce your symptoms.
One of the most common yet stubborn illnesses many of us are plagued with are respiratory infections, most commonly acute bronchitis, and pneumonia. Acute bronchitis is caused by inflammation of the bronchiole tree — the tubes that bring air in to inflate the lungs.
Pneumonia is a term that describes a breathing condition typically caused by an infection of the lungs. The intestinal walls are the main barrier and interaction between the immune system and the external environment. There are a number of popular herbs used to treat infections associated with acute bronchitis and pneumonia. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a culinary herb part of the lamiaceae family, whose leaves and flowers have been traditionally used to treat spasmodic coughs. We will be provided with an authorization token (please note: passwords are not shared with us) and will sync your accounts for you. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract illness in infants and young children. The first isolation of human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was performed in 1955 from a captive chimpanzee. During the past years, a great advance in the knowledge of the pathogenesis and the immune response against RSV has been achieved. It is clear then, that the inflammatory response to RSV is complex, and refractory to treatments with antivirals and glucocorticoids, which are the standard approaches. This review examines the most recent work dealing with the use of immunobiotic strains to improve resistance against viral respiratory infections. It is known that the initiation of the mucosal and systemic immune responses to respiratory virus requires the recognition by the immune system of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs).
Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is a replication intermediate of several virus that is able to sensitize innate immune system through TLR3.
Respiratory syncytial virus predominantly infects primary airway epithelial cells, but can also infect other structural airway and immune cells. Proliferation and activation of NK cells, as well as its anti-viral capacities are also important for the protection against RSV.
In addition, recent studies demonstrated an important role for macrophages in providing an immediate pro-inflammatory response (17), and producing type I IFN (18) following RSV infection. Virus elimination and the recovery from primary viral respiratory infection are primarily mediated by the adaptive immune response.
The interaction of RSV with respiratory DCs results in activation and maturation of those cells, being both processes important in establishing virus-specific immunity.
It has more recently been shown that Th17 cells may also play a role in effector mechanisms triggered in response to RSV. An effective B-cell response is also essential for resistance against viral respiratory tract infections. In respiratory viral infections such as influenza virus or RSV, inflammatory response mediated by TLR3 also appears to affect the pathology induced by the virus as well as host survival. Acute pneumonia is considered one of the most severe complications of influenza virus infection. And people taking probiotics were 42% less likely to get a cold than those on a placebo, according to a 2011 meta-analysis of 10 studies. But drying hands thoroughly is just as important, because germs cling to your skin more easily when it's wet. In one study done at Carnegie Mellon University, even if people said they felt well rested if they'd averaged fewer than 7 hours of sleep per night, they were almost three times as likely to get a cold as those who got eight hours or more of sack time. In winter, she suggests, flavor bean and poultry dishes with oregano and thyme, and add ? teaspoon of turmeric to 1 cup of plain yogurt for a spicy dip.
After vaccination, antibodies against the flu increase normally in obese people but decline prematurely over the next few months, lowering protection. But Jamey Wallace, MD, chief medical officer at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, says staying hydrated may stave off infections. Make sure your family's brushes are in a holder that keeps them apart, and let them dry thoroughly. The precise cytokine profile depends upon the nature and strength of the stimulus and the strain of probiotic bacteria that was administered [20, 21].
Not only are they disruptive and painful to deal with at the time of the infection, but it is also typical for someone to experience lingering effects of the infection for weeks after. When infected, the bronchial airways become narrowed and clogged with mucous, making it difficult for air to pass in to the lungs.
There are a number of causes of pneumonia, viral pneumonia, such as the flu virus, being the most common cause of infection. The intestines house a large portion of our immune system called the galt-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT), a system that highly determines the strength of our immune system. Some of the most popular herbs found in commercial herbal preparations today include Echinacea spp., goldenseal, and elderberry, all used for their antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
The flowers have long been used in China for their favourable effects on the respiratory system.
It is part of the scrophulariaceae family and its vast properties to treat and heal the respiratory tract paved its way in to North America as a medicinal herb, most commonly for irritating coughs with bronchial congestion.[18] The leaves and flowers have been traditionally used for respiratory conditions, due to their toning effects on the mucous membranes of the lower respiratory tract.
Typically caused by a viral infection, which is a self-limiting condition, these infections can progress to a secondary bacterial condition, or can result in prolonged symptoms, such as persistent cough.
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This page doesn't support Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8.Please upgrade your browser or activate Google Chrome Frame to improve your experience. Host immune response is implicated in both protective and immunopathological mechanisms during RSV infection. The virus was quickly identified as a major respiratory pathogen in infants and children (1).
In infants and young children predisposed to respiratory illness, however, RSV infection is more likely to move into the lower respiratory tract, leading to pneumonia and bronchiolitis (2). RSV targets both type I alveolar and non-basilar airway epithelial cells and possibly alveolar macrophages. The immumodulatory impact of probiotic is of great interest considering that these microorganisms are able to modify the responses of mucosal tissue to subsequent pro-inflammatory challenge.
More specifically, the article review the mechanisms involved in the capacity of the immunobiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus CRL1505 to beneficially modulate the immune response triggered by Toll-like receptor (TLR)-3 activation in the respiratory tract and to increase the resistance to RSV infection. Recognition of viral PAMPs is achieved by cellular receptors known as pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that are expressed in both respiratory epithelial cells and immune cells. Upon viral entry and activation of signaling complexes including TLR3 (Figure 1A) (6, 9), inflammatory cytokines and chemokines are expressed and secreted in airway cells (10). An emerging trend born from multiple clinical studies of severely RSV-infected infants is a failure to generate a robust NK-cell response (11–13). Additionally, macrophages clear debris later in infection, and avoid further damage and inflammation (19). Both cellular and humoral immune responses act directly to eliminate viral pathogens in the respiratory tract (Figure 3).
The quality and durability of the host immunity as well as the susceptibility to reinfection are significantly influenced by these early events during the initial immune response (23). Several studies of primary and secondary RSV infections in mice models have demonstrated the central role of T lymphocytes in the pathology of RSV disease.
The production of IL-17 by CD4+ Th17 cells has both positive and negative effects in the respiratory tract. B cells response is reflected in the generation of antibodies capable of neutralizing the virus in both the respiratory tract and serum (Figure 3C).
They enhance the immune system by favorably altering the gut micro-ecology and preventing unfriendly organisms from gaining a foothold in the body. Moreover, the method of growing and preparing probiotic bacteria for consumption can influence their biological activity.
By contrast, they are likely to have an immunomodulatory action affecting the function of immune cells that migrate into the lung.
It is reported that the cough associated with such infections can last up to four weeks after the initial infection.[1] Symptoms common to all infections are fever and fatigue. Inflammation also causes these airways to spasm, producing a nagging, persistent cough that can be dry or wet. Pneumonia can also be caused by bacteria, most commonly Streptococcus pneumoniae, which typically follows a viral infection — this type of infection is called a secondary bacterial infection. Despite the improvement people report using natural remedies to decrease the severity and duration of their respiratory illnesses, there is very little evidence in the scientific community confirming these positive outcomes.
Probiotics influence the immune system by providing a protective barrier of “good” bacteria to compete with the overgrowth of “bad” bacteria.[6] Reasons good bacteria could be out of balance can be associated with lifestyle factors such as poor diet.
By reducing viral and bacterial load, these herbs can reduce duration and severity of symptoms associated with infections, but do not directly have an effect on the cough. Though typical treatments for these conditions involve antibiotic treatment, this can produce ineffective results, such as in viral infection, or can render the immune system weak, making one susceptible to further or more severe infections.
Activation of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-3 in innate immune cells by RSV can induce airway inflammation, protective immune response, and pulmonary immunopathology.
RSV is a negative-strand, non-segmented RNA pneumovirus of the family Paramyxoviridae, and a highly contagious virus.
RSV has been also identified as an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and transplant patients (3). These changes in the respiratory mucosa results in the damage of respiratory epithelial cells and the impairment of their ciliary actions.
Moreover, several studies have centered on whether probiotic microorganisms with the capacity to stimulate the immune system (immunobiotics) might stimulate the common mucosal immune system to improve respiratory tract defenses. In addition, we will discuss the role of interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-10 in the immunoregulatory effect of the CRL1505 strain that has been successfully used for reducing incidence and morbidity of viral airways infections in children (5). In addition, respiratory epithelial cells and infiltrating leukocytes produce large amounts of anti-viral molecules, such as type I IFN. In addition to their anti-viral activities, NK cells play a crucial role in the priming of adaptive immune responses against a variety of viral infections.
There is also evidence of activated granulocytes and inflammatory cytokines the airways of children and infants with severe RSV infection, being neutrophils the most abundant immune cells (Figure 2B).
Respiratory DCs that have acquired RSV antigens maturate and migrate to the lung-draining lymph nodes (LN) where they present antigens and activate antigen-specific T cells (24).
In this regard, a wealth of evidence indicates that mainly neutralizing antibodies confers protection against RSV infection.


In fact, TLR3 has been implicated in both protective immunity and inflammatory tissue damage during viral infections. Remarkably, it was reported that TLR3-deficient animals are more resistant than wild-type mice to influenza virus A challenge (8).
They prevent the overgrowth of yeast and fungus and produce substances that can lower cholesterol.When the ratio of good bacteria to bad is lowered, problems begin to arise such as excessive gas, bloating, constipation, intestinal toxicity and poor absorption of nutrients. No reproduction, transmission or display is permitted without the written permissions of Rodale Inc.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.AbstractThe physiology and pathology of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts are closely related.
The precise mechanisms underlying the favorable effects of probiotics on the respiratory system are unclear, and several mechanisms have been proposed as a result of in vitro and in vivo animal experiments. However, recurrent antibiotic use is one of the most common reasons for our probiotic flora to be in a state of imbalance or “dysbiosis”. There are a number of herbs that have been traditionally used to relieve cough; this article will describe just a few. It is important that we use treatments that not only make our immune systems resilient against infections, but can reduce the severity and duration of these infections, such as through preventative probiotic supplementation. A clear understanding of RSV–host interaction is important for the development of novel and effective therapeutic strategies.
Although RSV is not a highly cytopathic virus, peribroncheal mononuclear cell infiltration, submucosal edema, mucus secretion, and sometimes syncytia are observed in the lung of RSV-infected hosts (4). In this regard, it was demonstrated that some orally administered immunobiotics do have the ability to stimulate respiratory immunity and increase resistance to viral infections. TLR3-deficient mice have been found to have their anti-viral immune response impaired in challenge-experiments with dsRNA or poly(I:C) (6). Type I IFNs signal through its receptor and induce the transcription of many interferon responsive genes (ISGs).
Indeed, the recruitment and activation of IFN-γ-producing NK cells to the site of inflammation plays a critical role in the subsequent development of effector CD4 Th1 and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) responses (14).
Natural killer (NK) cells are involved in the elimination of virus-infected cells because of their cytotoxic capacities. It is known that RSV-induced damage is produced mainly by an excessive infiltration of inflammatory cells into the airways and lung. Additionally, it was described that IL-17 facilitates the development tertiary lymphoid structure in infected lungs, which increase protection against RSV infection (1, 2, 32) (Figure 3B). The F and G glycoproteins are the only viral antigens able to induce neutralizing antibodies as well as relatively long-lived protection in animal models (1). A good probiotic supplement will contain millions and millions of live bacteria to bolster and replenish levels of health promoting good bugs in your digestive tract.
This similarity between the two organs may underlie why dysfunction in one organ may induce illness in the other. The fact that probiotic treatment can modulate immune responses in the lung [22] and, in particular, the encouraging indications that microbial stimulation of the gut can enhance the T regulatory response in the airway [23], emphasizes the therapeutic potential as well as the need for greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying effects of specific probiotic strains. In addition to modulation of the intestinal microbiota, probiotics improve the barrier function of the intestinal mucosa, reducing leakage of antigens through the mucosa and thereby the amount of allergen that the lung may be exposed to via the circulatory route. There are a number of herbs used traditionally that work through antiviral and antibacterial actions in order to fight infection, but also have properties useful to easing coughs and soothing the respiratory tract, such as coltsfoot, mullein, and thyme. Several studies have centered on whether probiotic microorganisms with the capacity to stimulate the immune system (immunobiotics) might sufficiently stimulate the common mucosal immune system to improve defenses in the respiratory tract. In addition, several studies demonstrated that the host immune response to RSV is implicated in both protective and immunopathological mechanisms.
During the last decade, scientists have significantly advanced in the knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the protective effect of immunobiotics in the respiratory tract.
The products of these genes limit virus replication and enhance the immune response (Figure 1B) (10).
Studies investigating the infiltration of immune cells into the lung and airways of RSV-infected children showed that neutrophils constituted the predominant population of infiltrating cells in nasal and bronchoalveolar (BAL) lavages.
Moreover, both populations exhibit a similar capacity to stimulate IFN-γ production by CD4 and CD8 T cells (26).
CTLs appear in the lungs at day 4, peak around days 6–14, and are critical for viral clearance but can also contribute to disease (27).
However, IL-17 also acts synergistically with other pro-inflammatory factors and cells to exacerbate inflammatory damage and alter lung function in RSV-infected hosts. It was also reported that the prophylactic administration of RSV-neutralizing polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies is able to protect adult and infants from severe RSV disease (1, 34, 35). These results suggested that lesions induced by influenza virus A are reduced in the absence of TLR3.
Once there, these probiotic reinforcements join forces with the existing friendly bacteria to help inhibit the growth of more harmful microbes.
That's how many ounces of fluid you need daily, plus a glass of water for each caffeinated or alcoholic drink. For example, smoking is a major risk factor for COPD and IBD and increases the risk of developing Crohn’s disease. In addition, direct modulation of the immune system may occur through the induction of anti-inflammatory cytokines or through the increased production of secretory IgA or via activation of Treg cells and skewing of Th1, Th2, and Th17 cell activation or alterations in macrophage function resulting in reduced allergic responses. There is a need for more studies to confirm these effects; however, traditional use of these herbs, along with their low toxicity and side effects, make them wonderful complementary options to help ease symptoms associated acute respiratory infections. In fact, epithelial cells from the respiratory mucosa over-express TLR3 when challenged with respiratory viruses and, this overexpression of TLR3 allow cells to detect virus and acquire resistance (7, 8). TRIF-1 is localized in the cytoplasm of resting cells, when TLR3 is activated, TRIF co-localizes with endosomal TLR3. Moreover, neutrophils were also the most common cells found in autopsy tissues from infants infected with RSV (12, 13, 20, 21). Other studies have strongly associated Th2 responses with increased pathology in lungs of RSV-infected mice. Moreover, it was recently described that IL-17 inhibits the ability of CD8+ cells to clear viral particles (1, 2, 32).
These products are advocated for the prevention and treatment of various medical conditions, including gastroenteritis, Clostridium-associated diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, and dental cavities. Standard dosing for probiotics naturopathic doctors are comfortable with range from 5 to 200 billion colonies, daily. Moreover, during the last decade scientists have significantly advanced in the knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the protective effect of immunobiotics in the respiratory tract. Indeed, the incapacity of the host to control inflammation in RSV infection correlates with the difficulty to limit virus spread, reduce the extension of lung damage and proceed onward to a phase of resolution. Of note, defective NK-cell function is strongly linked with the development of Th2-dominated immune responses in RSV infections (16). RSV infection of the respiratory epithelium induces the secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators by epithelial cells and associated immune cells.
CD11b+ cDCs are located in the parenchyma of the lung and they promote the recruitment of leukocytes through the production of pro-inflammatory chemokines.
Decreased mucus production and lung inflammation were found in acute RSV infection when the Th2 cytokine IL-4 was depleted before viral challenge (28, 29). Furthermore, IL-17 enhances IL-13 production, which promotes the activation of Th2 lymphocytes and excessive mucus production (32). Among leukocytes infiltrating the lungs of infected mice, macrophages and CD8+ T cells were the predominant immune cells in infected wild-type animals. Commonly used probiotics include lactic acid bacteria, particularly Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces, and these are often used as dietary supplements to provide a health benefit in gastrointestinal diseases including infections, inflammatory bowel disease, and colon cancer. These applications of LAB have been based on various hypothesized health-promoting attributes including antimutagenic activity [26], anticarcinogenic and -tumor effects [27–30], hypocholesterolemic properties [28], inhibition of intestinal and food-borne pathogens [29], and the promotion of T- and B-cell proliferation [31]. This review examines the most recent advances dealing with the use of immunobiotic bacteria to improve resistance against viral respiratory infections.
It is likely that understanding the pathogenesis of RSV disease, including the immune response to infection, will help to develop novel immunoregulatory therapeutic strategies and design safe and effective vaccines. The serine-threonine kinases, TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and IkB kinase-related kinase-e (IKK-e) are activated once TRIF interact with them. The release of pro-inflammatory chemokines and cytokines as well as the upregulation of adhesion molecules, such as ICAM-1, induce and mediate the recruitment of leukocytes to the respiratory tract. These changes in the respiratory tract induce neutrophils recruitment and activate inflammatory responses in the lung. In contrast, CD103+ cDCs are located in the basal lamina and they are able to extend dendrites into the airway lumen, allowing them to sample potential foreign pathogens from the airway.
As IL-17 is known to play a role in the development of asthma, its role in RSV pathogenesis was recently examined. The work clearly demonstrated that TLR3-mediated enhanced cytokine production and that this inflammatory response was critical for the alteration of the blood-brain barrier. In this respect, probiotics probably act as immunomodulatory agents and activators of host defence pathways which suggest that they could influence disease severity and incidence at sites distal to the gut. Thus, understanding the immunological mechanism of probiotic action is important in rationalising the impact of these agents in a variety of diseases.
More specifically, the article discuss the mechanisms involved in the capacity of the immunobiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus CRL1505 to modulate the TLR3-mediated immune response in the respiratory tract and to increase the resistance to RSV infection. Epithelial cells and macrophages are crucial in the innate immune response to respiratory virus. Cytokines and chemokines, such as IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, TNF, CCL2, CCL3, CCL5, CXCL8, and CXCL10 are significantly augmented in blood, BAL, and nasal aspirates from infants infected with RSV (12, 13, 20, 21).
Depletion of IL-12, a Th1 polarizing cytokine, significantly increased production of IL-13, along with increased mucus production, airway resistance, and pulmonary inflammation (30). Increased IL-6 and IL-17 levels were found in the tracheal aspirate samples from severely ill RSV-infected infants. Moreover, the magnitude of the inflammatory damage in the blood–brain barrier correlated with viral entry into the brain and the severity of lethal encephalitis. There is increasing evidence that orally delivered probiotics are able to regulate immune responses in the respiratory system. Many in vitro and in vivo studies have been conducted examining the effects of probiotics in disease models. Viral Infections and AsthmaRespiratory infections, particularly viral infections, directly affect morbidity and mortality and are indirectly a contributing factor not only to asthma exacerbations but also to the development of the disease [87].
Siarakas, “Bacteriotherapy using fecal flora: toying with human motions,” Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, vol. In addition, we review the role of interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-10 in the immunoregulatory effect of the CRL1505 strain that has been successfully used for reducing incidence and morbidity of viral airways infections in children.
TRAF3 and NF-kB-activating kinase (NAK)-associated protein 1 (NAP1) participates in the recruitment of IRF-3 kinases and in IRF-3 activation. In particular, high levels of CXCL10 and CXCL8 that are major chemo-attractants for macrophages, neutrophils, and T cells, are hallmarks of RSV-infected infants (12, 20, 22). Neutralizing antibodies have a critical role in protection from respiratory virus infection.
Moreover, mice deficient in the IFN-induced transcription factor STAT1 exhibit increased production of Th2 cytokines and delayed viral clearance (31). Furthermore, IL-6, IL-17, and IL-23 were increased in RSV-infected mice, while treatment with anti-IL-17 antibodies reduced inflammation, decreased viral load, and increased antigen-specific CD8+ T cells in the lung (32, 33) (Figure 3B). This review provides an overview of the possible role of probiotics and their mechanisms of action in the prevention and treatment of respiratory diseases.1.
Most in vitro studies have examined the effects of probiotics on the production of cytokines from human PBMCs in order to define the basis for their clinical benefit [32, 33].
It has been speculated that identifying probiotic organisms capable of reducing viral infections in early life, or in utero, may prevent the development of asthma [88]. Upregulation of these cytokines and leads to recruitment of neutrophils, which constitute the majority of infiltrating cells. Serum antibodies, mainly composed of IgG, gain access to the lungs via transduction and provide partial or complete protection against virus replication in the lungs.
IntroductionThere is growing evidence as to how diet and nutrition influence the microbiome and interact with the immune system to ultimately improve human health, for example, fecal bacteriotherapy, whereby the microflora of a healthy patient is transplanted to a patient with ulcerative colitis (UC) [1].


However, translation of these results into in vivo effects in man in randomized controlled clinical trials will require better models of disease and understanding of probiotic function in order to enable the selection of optimal strains and prediction of clinical efficacy.The microflora hypothesis proposes that antibiotic use and dietary differences in industrialized countries have resulted in perturbations of the gastrointestinal microbiota thereby disrupting the normal microbiota-mediated mechanisms of immunologic tolerance in the mucosa leading to an increase in the incidence of allergic diseases including asthma [34]. In addition, mitogen-activated protein kinases and (MAPK) and NF-kB pathways are activated, which results in the induction of genes involved in inflammatory responses.
While neutrophils may mediate elimination of virus-infected cells, their high numbers, ability to secrete further cytokines and chemokines, and degranulation products may contribute to respiratory virus-induced immunopathogenesis. This hypothesis provides a rationale for the application of probiotics to aim for normalization of immunological balance and treatment of disease. For example, Toll-like receptors (TLRs), nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD-) like receptors, transcription factors, cytokines, and chemokines play essential roles in sensing perturbations in the health of the lungs. This product is dairy-free and does not contain artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners, preservatives, chemical additives, wheat, yeast or animal derivatives. Probiotic bacteria are already used to treat or prevent a wide range of human diseases, conditions, and syndromes including antibiotic-associated diarrhea [2, 3] and inflammatory bowel disease occurring as a consequence of surgical treatment [4]. Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria strains are often employed as (potential) probiotics, many of which are useful microorganisms in dairy technology with a long-documented history of use in foods.2. The expression of many PRRs is high in lung inflammatory cells such as neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages, and epithelial cells, and they are able to respond rapidly to increased levels of PAMPs and DAMPs which are associated with exacerbation of lung diseases. In addition, they have been proposed to be of potential benefit in increasing numbers of therapeutic areas, particularly in the prevention or treatment of many different chronic inflammatory diseases [5]. Immunomodulatory Effects of ProbioticsThe mechanisms by which probiotic bacteria elicit their effects are not fully understood. It is possible, therefore, that modulation of these responses induced by LAB may have an impact on immune cell activation in the lung.In addition to oral delivery of probiotics, probiotic efficacy has been demonstrated following nasal challenge.
This receptor is constituted by two protein subunits called IFNAR1 and IFNAR2, which are present on the surface of cells.
Interaction of type I IFNs with IFNAR in neighboring cells enhance the production of type I IFNs and other inflammatory cytokines. Recently, for example, probiotics have been shown to have beneficial effects in models of neuronal inflammation and pain. The immune and inflammatory drivers of allergic asthma (left side of figure) and of COPD (right side of figure) may be modified by strain-specific probiotics.
Despite this, many aspects of the probiotic-host immune system crosstalk are still unknown.Probiotics can exert pleiotropic effects, including a protective role in the intestinal tract where they exert direct antimicrobial effects by competing with local pathogens and indirectly by enhancing intestinal barrier functions [13].
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)COPD is currently the 4th biggest killer worldwide and is expected to be the third leading cause of death over the next 10 years [99]. IRF-9 together with phosphorylated STAT1 and STAT2 form a complex called interferon-stimulated gene factor 3 (ISGF3). In addition, probiotics have the ability to modulate the host’s local and systemic mucosal immune systems [14].
In diarrhea both antipathogenic mechanisms on the microbiota level as well as immunomodulation of the host mechanisms may underlie the clinical benefit of probiotic therapy.
Smoking is the most important lifestyle risk factor for pathogenesis of COPD [100] and lung cancer [101]. Bulpitt, “Probiotics in prevention of antibiotic associated diarrhoea: meta-analysis,” British Medical Journal, vol.
For example, probiotics can change the mucosal immune system towards a noninflammatory, tolerogenic pattern by increasing IL-10 levels [15]. COPD and IBD share many epidemiological and clinical characteristics, as well as inflammatory pathologies [102–107]. Oral administration of Lactobacilli may modulate cytokine profiles not only at the intestinal level but also systemically [34]. To date, several LAB strains have been shown to enhance cell-mediated immune responses, including T-lymphocyte proliferation, mononuclear cell phagocytic capacity, and NK cell tumoricidal activity [42] (see Figure 1).Additional medical applications have been proposed, although their true efficacy will depend upon the outcomes of future experimental and clinical studies. Attention has traditionally centered on the roles of macrophages and neutrophils in disease development [112]. Indeed, despite the widespread advocacy of the clinical benefit of probiotics, evidence-based support for their use is limited and in need of continuing evaluation.Current ideas center on the hypothesis that administration of probiotic bacteria to the airway mucosa is not required to treat airways disease.
Thus, LAB can protect host animals from airway infection through an interaction with GALT such as those in Peyer’s Patches in the gut eliciting an indirect enhancement of respiratory immunity [43]. COPD exacerbations are psychologically destructive, since patients with exacerbations have a lower quality of life and decreased mobility, leading to increased depression [118]. However, the underlying cellular mechanisms responsible for these effects remain unresolved. It is generally accepted that the early immune response following viral infection relies on the recognition of viral PAMPs through the Toll-like receptors (TLRs) mainly TLR3, TLR7, and TLR9 [121, 122]. Stimulation of these receptors found on DCs and other inflammatory cells leads to the activation of NK cells through production of type I IFNs, IL-12, IL-18, and IL-15 [123–126].
NK cell activation is critically important to the early control of viral infections and occurs several hours to a few days following infection [127].
NK cells were originally thought of solely as killer cells due to their ability to directly destroy virus-infected cells [128].
Th17 cells are a subset of CD4+ T cells that produce the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17 [48]. More recently, however, attention has been given to the noncytotoxic functions of NK cells [129]. Th17 cells have recently been shown to play a critical role in clearing pathogens during host defense reactions and in inducing tissue inflammation in autoimmune disease [48].
Thus, NK cells along with their release of mediators are considered as important cells regulating the inflammatory response that occurs during COPD exacerbations. NK-cell activity is lower in smokers compared to nonsmokers [11] but daily intake of LcS increases natural killer cell activity in smokers [135]. This suggests that probiotics may be useful in COPD patients, particularly those with frequent viral infections [11]. Of interest, a diet supplemented with Lactobacillus plantarum prevents cardiovascular disease in smokers [11].4. Gelot et al., “Lactobacillus acidophilus modulates intestinal pain and induces opioid and cannabinoid receptors,” Nature Medicine, vol. Future Studies on the Effects of Probiotics in Lung DiseaseRecent studies suggest that commensal microorganisms are not identical in their ability to affect host physiology.
Ongoing studies aimed at establishing a correlation between the presence of particular microbes and specific diseases will provide much needed insights into their relationships with the immune system. The effect of microbial influences on the immune system and specific cell types has been extensively reviewed [136, 137]. While considerable progress has been made in large-scale analysis of gut commensal microbiota and its effect on the balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory forces of the immune system, many questions remain to be solved including which immune cells are the important targets for probiotic actions. In the future, it will be important to determine the mechanisms behind the probiotic action on the respiratory tract in diseased states.
A greater knowledge of the intestinal microbiota seen in patients with pulmonary disorders such as allergic diseases and in healthy infants will present opportunities to select more effective strains or combinations of strains to modulate the immune response and treat disease. Verma-Gandhu et al., “Specific probiotic therapy attenuates antibiotic induced visceral hypersensitivity in mice,” Gut, vol. Université Catholique de Louvain, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brussels, Belgium,” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. Forsythe et al., “Inhibitory effects of Lactobocillus reuteri on visceral pain induced by colorectal distension in Sprague-Dawley rats,” Gut, vol. Bergonzelli et al., “Lactobacillus paracasei normalizes muscle hypercontractility in a murine model of postinfective gut dysfunction,” Gastroenterology, vol. Oelschlaeger, “Mechanisms of probiotic actions—a review,” International Journal of Medical Microbiology, vol.
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Comments to “Probiotics and lung immune responses”

  1. Anita:
    Proper absorption and utilization of nutrients contains a good amount of probiotic.
  2. 9577:
    Treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD), boost immune system.
  3. ASad:
    Intestinal micro flora balance, immune function irritable bowel syndrome.