In previous studies, we demonstrated that a hot water extract of Chlorella vulgaris (CVE) augmented the resistance against an intraperitoneal infection with Escherichia coli by its intraperitoneal, intravenous or subcutaneous administration. The augmented resistance appeared to be attributable to the enhanced activity of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN). In this study, the effect of oral administration of CVE against Escherichia coli infection was examined. Male Fisher rats (F344/DuCrj) were administered 1000 mg/kg of CVE orally for 14 days and challenged with 2.7 × 108 Escherichia coli intraperitoneally. The numbers of living bacteria in the peritoneal cavity, blood, spleen and liver at 1, 6, and 24 h after the inoculation were counted. The bacterial numbers increased during 1-6 h and reached the peak at 6 h in both control and CVE-administered groups. The bacterial numbers decreased to an undetectable level at 24 h in both groups. In a CVE-administered group, the numbers of viable bacteria in each organ were remarkably lower than those in a control group in all organs so far tested. Whereas, the leukocyte numbers, especially PMN numbers, in the peritoneal cavity and peripheral blood maintained higher levels in the CVE-administered group at 6 h after E. coli inoculation. Chemiluminescent responses of peritoneal exudate cells induced by casein or E. coli were higher in a CVE-administered group. These results form the basis for the judgment that the degree of effectiveness of bacteria clearance from the peritoneal cavity shown by oral CVE administration may be strong enough to warrant developing this material as a new type of biological response modifier.
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