Applied And Environmental Microbiology
Food allergies can have significant effects on morbidity and on quality of life. Therefore, the development of efficient approaches to reduce the risk of developing food allergies is of considerable interest. The aim of this study was to identify and select probiotic strains with preventive properties against allergies using a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches. To that end, 31 strains of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria were screened for their immunomodulatory properties in two cellular models, namely, human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and T helper 2 (Th2)-skewed murine splenocytes. Six strains inducing a high interleukin-10 (IL-10)/IL-12p70 ratio and a low secretion of IL-4 on the two cellular models were selected, and their protective impact was tested in vivo in a murine model of food allergy to -lactoglobulin. Three strains showed a protective impact on sensitization, with a decrease in allergen-specific IgE, and on allergy, with a decrease in mast cell degranulation. Analysis of the impact of these three strains on the T helper balance revealed different mechanisms of action. The Lactobacillus salivarius LA307 strain proved to block Th1 and Th2 responses, while the Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis LA308 strain induced a pro-Th1 profile and the Lactobacillus rhamnosus LA305 strain induced pro-Th1 and regulatory responses. These results demonstrate that a combination of in vitro and in vivo screening is effective in probiotic strain selection and allowed identification of three novel probiotic strains that are active against sensitization in mice.