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Original Article


Effect of Lysed Enterococcus faecalis FK-23 on Allergen-Induced Immune Responses and Intestinal Microflora in Antibiotic-Treated Weaning Mice


T Shimada,1,2 L Cheng,2,3 H-B Shi,2,4 A Hayashi,1 C Motonaga,1 J Tang,5 K Enomoto,6 and T Enomoto7

1 Central Research Laboratories, Nichinichi Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Mie, Japan
2 International Centre for Allergy Research, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China & Sendai, Japan
3 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, The First Affi liated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
4 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Affi liated Sixth People’s Hospital of Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China
5 Research and Development Division, Cultech Limited, Swansea, UK
6 Department of Otolaryngology and Sensory Organ Surgery, Osaka University Medical School, Osaka, Japan
7 Department of Otolaryngology, Japanese Red Cross Society Wakayama Medical Center, Wakayama, Japan

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2007; Vol. 17(2): 70-76



Background: Recent epidemiological studies have indicated that early life receipt of antibiotics may be associated with an increased risk of developing atopic disorder. Lysed Enterococcus faecalis FK-23 (LFK), a probiotic product of E faecalis, has been shown to have inhibitory effects on allergen-induced immune responses in mice.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of LFK on immune responses and intestinal microflora in antibiotic-treated, and allergen-sensitized weaning mice.

Methods: Three-week-old BALB/c mice were sensitized with cedar pollen allergen to establish the experimental model. The allergen induced peritoneal accumulation of eosinophils, serum levels of total and allergen-specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E and IgG2a, and the intestinal bacterial fl ora were determined in the control, antibiotic, LFK and antibiotic-LFK groups (n = 7 in all groups). Orally administered erythromycin, one kind of macrolide antibiotic, was used for the experiments.

Results: There was no signifi cant difference in the allergen-induced peritoneal accumulation of eosinophils and serum specifi c IgE and IgG2a levels in erythromycin-treated mice compared to a control group. However, the ratio of serum total IgE to IgG2a levels was signifi cantly increased in erythromycin-treated mice relative to that found either in LFK-treated mice or in erythromycin-treated mice with LFK supplementation. The
total aerobes, total anaerobes and Enterococcus species of intestinal microflora were not signifi cantly different among all groups. Lactobacillus species were distinctly eliminated in the mice exposed to erythromycin on day 7 and totally recovered in erythromycin-treated mice with LFK intervention on day 28, but could not be recovered in the erythromycin-treated mice without LFK intervention.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that LFK may improve the intestinal ecosystem disturbed by antibiotic use, and thereby prevent subsequent development of atopy. However, whether different antibiotics have different effects on immune responses needs to be addressed further.

Key words: Antibiotics. Eosinophils. Immunoglobulins. Intestinal microflora. Enterococcus faecalis. Lactobacillus.