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Abstract

The present study investigated the ability of Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis (BB-12®) and Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei (L. casei 431®) to modulate the immune system using a vaccination model in healthy subjects. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study was conducted in 211 subjects (56 % females, mean age 33·2 (sd 13·1) years). Subjects consumed a minimum of 10⁹ colony-forming units of BB-12® (capsule) or L. casei 431® (dairy drink) or a matching placebo once daily for 6 weeks. After 2 weeks, a seasonal influenza vaccination was given. Plasma and saliva samples were collected at baseline and after 6 weeks for the analysis of antibodies, cytokines and innate immune parameters. Changes from baseline in vaccine-specific plasma IgG, IgG1 and IgG3 were significantly greater in both probiotic groups v. the corresponding placebo group (L. casei 431®, P = 0·01 for IgG; P < 0·001 for remaining comparisons). The number of subjects obtaining a substantial increase in specific IgG (defined as ≥ 2-fold above baseline) was significantly greater in both probiotic groups v. placebo (BB-12®, P < 0·001 for IgG, IgG1 and IgG3; L. casei 431®, P < 0·001 for IgG1 and IgG3). Significantly greater mean fold increases for vaccine-specific secretory IgA in saliva were observed in both probiotic groups v. placebo (BB-12®, P = 0·017; L. casei 431®, P = 0·035). Similar results were observed for total antibody concentrations. No differences were found for plasma cytokines or innate immune parameters. Data herein show that supplementation with BB-12® or L. casei 431® may be an effective means to improve immune function by augmenting systemic and mucosal immune responses to challenge.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bifidobacterium animalisEnhanced Mucosal Immune FunctionBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium animalisImproved Specific Antibody ResponseBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium animalisImproved Systemic Immune ResponseBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BS-01Improved Immune Response to Influenza VaccineBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BS-01Increased Salivary sIgA LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium bifidum/lactis Bb-02Improved Immune ResponseBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium bifidum/lactis Bb-02Improved Intestinal Mucosal ImmunityBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-02Enhanced Specific IgG ResponseBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-02Improved Total Antibody ConcentrationBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-02Improved Vaccine-Specific IgG LevelsBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-02Increased Salivary sIgA LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12Improved Vaccine-Specific IgG LevelsBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12Improved Vaccine-Specific Secretory IgA Levels in SalivaBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12Increased Specific IgG LevelsBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium lactis UABla-12Enhanced Mucosal Immune ResponseBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium lactis UABla-12Improved Immune Response to VaccinationBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium lactis UABla-12Increased Salivary sIgA LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium lactis UABla-12Increased Vaccine-Specific Plasma Immunoglobulin G (IgG)Beneficial
Large
Lactobacillus paracasei 431Improved Immune Response to Influenza VaccinationBeneficial
Large
Lactobacillus paracasei 431Increased Salivary sIgA LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus paracasei 431Increased Specific IgG LevelsBeneficial
Large

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