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J Dairy Sci. 1987 May;70(5):919-26.

Enhancement of immune response in mice fed with Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus acidophilus.


Swiss mice, fed for 8 consecutive d with 50 micrograms/d of viable cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Streptococcus thermophilus, showed significant variation in their immune system. In order to study this phenomenon assays for macrophage and lymphocyte function were carried out. Both lactic acid bacteria enhanced significantly the enzymatic and phagocytic activity of peritoneal macrophages as checked against the controls and also accelerated the phagocytic function of the reticuloendothelial system as revealed by the carbon clearance test. On the 2nd d (100 micrograms), L. acidophilus reached a peak of K = .271, which remained high. Streptococcus thermophilus was effective only on the 2nd d and then decreased. The lymphocytic activity studied by immunoglobulin secreting cells was assayed by Jerne's method of plaque-forming cells (PFC). This activity also was increased by the two microorganisms. Streptococcus thermophilus proved more effective than L. acidophilus. Lactobacillus acidophilus and S. thermophilus activated macrophages and lymphocytes and produced the same increase in the immune response of mice whether administered orally or intraperitoneally.

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