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Activation of natural killer cells and cytokine production in man by bacterial extracts.

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Department of Immunology, Hematology and Transfusion, Hôpital Erasme, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.


Broncho-Vaxon (OM-85 BV) is a bacterial extract of eight bacterias usually involved in the respiratory tract infections. Since Broncho-Vaxom is clinically active in decreasing the incidence of such infections, its immunological effect was investigated, in vitro, using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). The experimental data indicate that Broncho-Vaxom can modulate various immune functions. It was shown, using a radioimmunoassay for these cytokines, that Broncho-Vaxom will spontaneously enhance TNF alpha and IL-2 production whereas it has no action on IF gamma production. However, when the PBMC are stimulated with PHA, an increased production for IF gamma, TNF alpha and IL-2 was observed suggesting that, under appropriate conditions, Broncho-Vaxom enhances the production of these cytokines. In other experiments, Broncho-Vaxom was shown to markedly increase the natural killer activity of PBMC. All these results demonstrate that Broncho-Vaxom is an immunomodulator affecting multiple immunological mechanisms including the activation of natural killer cells, of monocytes and of T cells through direct mechanisms or through the cytokine cascade.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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