PLoS One

. 2023 Aug 9;18(8):e0273604.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0273604. eCollection 2023. Identification of novel lactic acid bacteria with enhanced protective effects against influenza virus

Atsushi Sugimoto 1 , Tomoe Numaguchi 1 , Ryota Chihama 1 , Yuto Takenaka 1 , Yuuki Sato 1

AffiliationsFree PMC article Abstract

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) exert health-beneficial effects by regulating innate immunity in the intestinal tract. Due to growing health awareness, the demand for LAB and studies have focused on identifying beneficial LAB strains is increasing, especially those that stimulate innate immunity. In this study, the LAB strain D279 (NITE_BP-03645, Latilactobacillus sakei) was isolated from among 741 LAB strains that were analyzed for their ability to induce interleukin 12 (IL-12) production and was subsequently characterized. D279 induced the highest expression of IL-12 among the screened LABs. Furthermore, D279 significantly activated antiviral genes and preferentially induced interferon (IFN)λ expression in vitro, which plays a critical role in the epithelial tissue, thereby conferring strong anti-influenza potency without inflammation. However, it decreased the IFNα levels. The administration of pasteurized D279 to mice resulted in strong anti-influenza potency, with higher natural killer (NK) cell activity and a lower viral load in the lung than in the control. Importantly, none of the D279-administered mice were sacrificed during the viral infection tests. These results suggest that D279 administration confers beneficial effects by regulating innate immunity and that it may be relevant for commercial use in the future.