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Lactobacillus plantarum DK119 (DK119) isolated from the fermented Korean cabbage food was used as a probiotic to determine its antiviral effects on influenza virus. DK119 intranasal or oral administration conferred 100% protection against subsequent lethal infection with influenza A viruses, prevented significant weight loss, and lowered lung viral loads in a mouse model. The antiviral protective efficacy was observed in a dose and route dependent manner of DK119 administration. Mice that were treated with DK119 showed high levels of cytokines IL-12 and IFN-c in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, and a low degree of inflammation upon infection with influenza virus. Depletion of alveolar macrophage cells in lungs and bronchoalveolar lavages completely abrogated the DK119-mediated protection. Modulating host innate immunity of dendritic and macrophage cells, and cytokine production pattern appeared to be possible mechanisms by which DK119 exhibited antiviral effects on influenza virus infection. These results indicate that DK119 can be developed as a beneficial antiviral probiotic microorganism.


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PLoS ONE 8(10): e75368. doi:

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