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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL PRODUCTS FOR PHARMACEUTICAL AND AGROCHEMICAL APPLICATIONS

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Title: Oral administration of a Spirulina extract enriched for Braun-type lipoproteins protects mice against influenza A(H1N1) virus infection

Author
item Pugh, Nirmal
item Edwall, Dan
item Lindmark, Lars
item Kousoulas, K. Gus
item Iyer, Arun
item Haron, Mona H
item Pasco, David

Submitted to: Phytomedicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2014
Publication Date: 2/15/2015
Citation: Pugh, N.D., Edwall, D., Lindmark, L., Kousoulas, K., Iyer, A.V., Haron, M., Pasco, D.S. 2015. Oral administration of a Spirulina extract enriched for Braun-type lipoproteins protects mice against influenza A(H1N1) virus infection. Phytomedicine. 22:271-276.

Interpretive Summary: This is an original research paper on Immulina, a commercial extract derived from the cyanobacteria Spirulina. Previous research indicates that Braun-type lipoproteins (a bacterial component) are the main active immune enhancing compounds within this product. The purpose of the study was to determine whether oral administration of Immulina would result in a protective effect against influenza A (H1N1) virus infection using a mouse model. Compared to the control group, mice that were fed Immulina exhibited a statistically significant reduction in the severity of infection as measured by various parameters. This study adds to the growing body of evidence that oral administration of bacterial components that activate immune cells, whether derived from a bacterial preparation (probiotics or cyanobacterial extracts) or from bacteria associated with plants as endophytes, can exhibit a protective effect against influenza A (H1N1) viral infection.

Technical Abstract: Previous studies indicate that Immulina, a commercial extract of Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis, is a potent activator of innate immune cells and that Braun-type lipoproteins (a principal toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 ligand) are the main active components within this product. In the present study, mice fed Immulina for 30 days prior to infection with influenza A (H1N1) virus exhibited a statistically significant reduction in the severity of infection. Compared to the control group, Immulina-fed mice exhibited more appetite, reduced weight loss, diminished clinical signs of disease and lower lung histopathology scores. These results demonstrate that oral administration of an extract containing a bacterial TLR2 ligand (Braun-type lipoproteins) protects the host against the pathological implications of viral infection. This study adds to the growing body of evidence that oral administration of bacterial components that activate immune cells, whether derived from a bacterial preparation (probiotics or cyanobacterial extracts) or from bacteria associated with plants as endophytes, can exhibit a protective effect against influenza A (H1N1) viral infection.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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