Probiotic Lactobacilli, Infection, and Immunomodulation
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Immunomodulatory agents are potentially believed to play important roles in infectious, allergic, and autoimmune diseases. The probiotic bacteria such as lactobacilli have immunomodulatory properties and are generally regarded as safe. Thus, they can be used as adjuvants for the treatment of infectious and allergic/autoimmune diseases. The immunomodulatory properties of five lactobacilli species such as Lactobacillus casei, L. rhamnosus, L. paracasei, L. gasseri, and L. acidophilus have been well studied. This book chapter summarizes the various studies which have reported immunomodulation by Lactobacillus species. Further, the immunomodulatory molecules produced by lactobacilli have been discussed. The immunomodulatory effects of Lactobacillus species are strictly strain-specific and in some cases yielded contrasting results in different hosts. Thus, use of lactobacilli as immunomodulatory agent for therapeutic use should be strictly backed by human clinical trials. Further, some of the immunomodulatory molecules are known to play role(s) in immunopathogenesis of allergic diseases. Thus probiotic lactobacilli species to be used as therapeutic agents should be screened for their ability to secrete harmful metabolites.
KeywordsAllergic disease Cytokine GABA Immunomodulatory Lactobacilli SCFA
This work was supported by research grant (grant number: 42-478/2013 SR) sponsored by the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, India. Mrs. Sumanpreet Kaur is thankful to University of Potential for Excellence scheme of UGC for the fellowship. Ms. Preeti Sharma is thankful to UGC for the fellowship.
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