The protective effect of heat-killed Lactobacillus casei YIT9018 (LC 9018) against Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in mice was compared with that of Corynebacterium parvum. Survival of mice after intraperitoneal (i.p.) infection with P. aeruginosa was augmented in mice that had been pretreated i.p. with LC 9018 5 days previously. Similar treatment of mice with C. parvum, however, was not effective at all. Moreover, mice became more susceptible to infection with P. aeruginosa after such treatment. Growth of P. aeruginosa in the peritoneal cavity and spleen was markedly inhibited in LC 9018-pretreated mice, whereas such inhibition of bacterial growth was not observed in C. parvum-treated mice. The protective effect of LC 9018 was observed in mice subjected to 800 rads of whole body irradiation but was abrogated when mice were treated with carrageenan. These results suggest that augmentation of the resistance of mice to P. aeruginosa was caused by the induction of activated macrophages. The number of macrophages detectable in the peritoneal cavity was almost the same in LC 9018- and C. parvum-treated mice. Growth of Listeria monocytogenes was inhibited by pretreatment with LC 9018. Inhibition of L. monocytogenes was also observed after the same pretreatment with C. parvum. It was suggested that macrophages activated with LC 9018 were involved in the protective immunity to P. aeruginosa.
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