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Jpn J Pharmacol. 2001 Dec;87(4):327-32.

Addition of Maitake D-fraction reduces the effective dosage of vancomycin for the treatment of Listeria-infected mice.

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Department of Microbial Chemistry, Kobe Pharmaceutical University, Japan.


Maitake D-fraction, beta1,6-glucan having beta1,3-branches, has been reported to activate the immune system of the host. To elucidate whether the D-fraction can reduce the clinical effective dosage of antibiotics in the treatment of opportunistic bacterial infection, we examined the effects of D-fraction on the treatment of Listeria monocytogenes-infected mice in combination with vancomycine (VCM), the only antibiotic used for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Listeria-infection was introduced by its inoculation into the abdominal cavity of mice. Without treatment, all inoculated mice died within 3 days after the inoculation. In contrast, in the mice treated with combined therapy of D-faction (10 mg/kg per day) and VCM (10 mg/kg per day), the survival rate was maintained at 60% on the 10th day after the inoculation, which was superior to that of mice treated with VCM alone (10 mg/kg per day). To investigate the mechanism underlying the reinforcement of VCM treatment by the D-fraction, the activities of macrophages and splenic T cells of Listeria-infected mice were evaluated. In mice administered with both D-fraction and VCM, macrophages produced 2.7 times as much interleukin-1 as that of non-treated control mice. The bactericidal activity of splenic T cells was also enhanced by 2.6 times of that of non-treated control mice. These results indicate that D-fraction activates immuno-competent cells, induced cytokine production, and consequently enhanced the bactericidal activities of the splenic T cells against Listeria monocytogenes, suggesting the clinical benefit of D-fraction in the case of anti-bacterial treatment for patients with high risks.

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