Modulation of Immune System by Probiotics to Protect Against Enteric Disorders

  • Joshua J. Malago
  • Jos F. J. G. Koninkx


Emerging diseases of the immune system are increasing with socio-economic and sanitary conditions. This is evidenced by the high incidences of allergic and autoimmune diseases in Western countries than in developing countries. Evidence is accumulating that disruption of normal microbiota and their associated beneficial effects on intestinal mucosal immunity is pivotal to occurrence of these disorders. Their pathogeneses appear to revolve around impaired ability of the intestinal microbiota to effectively modulate and thus balance the body immune responses. As a result the immune system reacts excessively to antigens that would otherwise be tolerated and thus result in allergic reactions, or reacts to self antigens to cause autoimmune diseases. Some of these disorders are characterised by persistent production of inflammatory mediators leading to chronic inflammation and tissue damage. Several reports have indicated that oral administration of excessive numbers of selected members of microbiota, so called probiotic bacteria, prevents, treats, and improves the conditions of patients with immune-mediated disorders like allergy, inflammatory bowel diseases, and type 1 diabetes. Current knowledge suggests that probiotic bacteria mediate their beneficial effects via modulation of the immune system to balance its responses and institute protection. Herein the current knowledge on the pathogenesis of some of the immune mediated diseases and the beneficial effect of probiotic bacteria to such patients are described. The chapter also explores the role of probiotic bacteria in modulating the immune system and confer protection to the host.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Tight Junction Celiac Disease Food Allergy Probiotic Bacterium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineSokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania

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