Maesil (Prunus mume) has long been used as a traditional drug and healthy food in East Asian countries. It possesses a number of beneficial biological activities including potential antimicrobial effects against pathogens. Probiotics also have antibacterial effects. Moreover, some probiotics have an important role in regulating the immune system. The present study evaluated the immune enhancing effects of fermented Msesil with probiotics (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Bacillus subtilis and Lactobacillus acidophilus) in mice, especially against Bordetella bronchiseptica, as an initial step towards the development of feed supplements for the promotion of immune activity and prevention of disease, especially in pigs. Continuous ingestion of fermented Masesil with probiotics markedly increased the macrophage ratio in peripheral blood and the T lymphocyte ratio in the spleen. In addition, antibody production against formalin-killed B. bronchiseptica significantly increased in the mice fed fermented Maesil compared with the control group. The number of leukocytes was significantly higher in the bronchio-alveolar lavage obtained from the fermented Maesil-fed animals compared to it in the control group at day 3 (maximal peak time) after experimental B. bronchiseptica infection. Moreover, at 7 day post-infection, relative messenger RNA expression levels of tumor necrosis factor- α and interferon-γ were significantly increased in splenocytes of mice fed fermented Maesil compared with those in the control group. Taken together, these findings suggest that feed containing fermented Maesil with probiotics enhances immune activity in mice, especially against B. bronchiseptica, via the potent stimulation of non-specific immune responses.
2010 by the Japanese Society of Veterinary Science