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PLoS One. 2017 Sep 20;12(9):e0184976. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184976. eCollection 2017.

Lactobacillus paracasei feeding improves immune control of influenza infection in mice.

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Institut Pasteur, Invasive Bacterial Infections Unit, Paris, France.
Bioaster, Paris, France.
Innate Immunity Unit, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.
Inserm U1223, Paris, France.
Institut Pasteur, Unité Biologie et génétique de la paroi bactérienne, Dept. Microbiologie, Paris, France.
Institut National de la santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Paris, France.
DanoneNutricia Research, Palaiseau, France.
INSERM, U1163, Laboratory of Intestinal Immunity, Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité and Institut Imagine, Paris, France.


Respiratory tract infections such as flu cause severe morbidity and mortality and are among the leading causes of death in children and adults worldwide. Commensal microbiota is critical for orchestrating tissue homeostasis and immunity in the intestine. Probiotics represent an interesting source of immune modulators and several clinical studies have addressed the potential beneficial effects of probiotics against respiratory infections. Therefore, we have investigated the mechanisms of protection conferred by L. paracasei CNCM I-1518 strain in a mouse model of influenza infection. Notably, local myeloid cells accumulation is generated in the lungs after seven days feeding with L. paracasei prior to viral infection. L. paracasei-fed mice showed reduced susceptibility to the influenza infection, associated with less accumulation of inflammatory cells in the lungs, faster viral clearance and general health improvement. Interestingly, Allobaculum was significantly increased in L. paracasei-fed mice 7 days after influenza infection, even if the gut microbiota composition was not altered overall. L. paracasei-purified peptidoglycan partially recapitulated the protective phenotype observed with the entire bacteria. Collectively, our results demonstrate that oral consumption of L. paracasei CNCM I-1518 modulates lung immunity was associated with an improved control of influenza infection. These results further extend the beneficial role for certain lactobacilli to alleviate the burden of respiratory tract infections.

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