Efficacy of probiotic administration in patients with partially controlled asthma
The organism Bifidobacterium longum subsp infantis (B.infantis), defined as an oral probiotic, can modulate the immune system by inducing regulatory T cells (Treg) and decreasing allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness. It was hypothesized that administration of probiotics along with ordinary asthma treatment may improve asthma control in adults.
Forty patients with partially controlled asthma were enrolled in the study and randomized to taking oral probiotic (Bifidobacterium longum subsp infantis) and placebo for 4 weeks.
Forced expiratory volume (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), asthma control test (ACT) score and absolute eosinophil count (AEC) were analyzed at baseline and after 4 weeks.
Whole blood was used to analyze dysfunctional regulatory T cells (CRTH2+ Treg) by flow cytometry method.
All patients received complete asthma treatment without systemic corticosteroids.
Out of 40 asthma patients, 18 patients in the active group and 15 in the placebo group completed the study. After 4 weeks, patients treated with the oral probiotic showed an improvement in ACT score compared with controls.
The mean change in forced expiratory volume and forced vital capacity of patients in the active group was also better than in the placebo group.
The mean change in absolute eosinophil count increased in both groups after treatment, but the absolute eosinophil count of the active group was lower than that of the placebo group. Interestingly, the frequency of CRTH2+ Treg cells decreased in the active group compared with placebo.
In conclusion, administration of Bifidobacterium longum subsp infantis for 4 weeks improved asthma symptoms and corrected dysfunctional regulatory T cells in patients with partially controlled asthma.
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Source: “Efficacy of Probiotics Administration in Patients with Partly Controlled Asthma: A Randomized Placebo Controlled Trial”, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Published by Mosby, Inc