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Open Access Research

Oral administration of interferon-α2b-transformed Bifidobacterium longum protects BALB/c mice against coxsackievirus B3-induced myocarditis

Zhijian Yu1, Zhen Huang1, Chongwen Shao2, Yuanjian Huang2, Fan Zhang1, Jin Yang1, Lili Deng1, Zhongming Zeng1, Qiwen Deng1* and Weiseng Zeng2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Infectious Diseases, the Affiliated Shenzhen Nanshan Hospital of Guangdong Medical College, No 89, Taoyuan Road, Nanshan district, 518052 Shenzhen, China

2 Department of Cell Biology, Southern Medical University, No 1023, Satai Raod, Baiyun district, 510515 Guangzhou, China

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Virology Journal 2011, 8:525  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-525

Published: 8 December 2011

Abstract

Multiple reports have claimed that low-dose orally administered interferon (IFN)-α is beneficial in the treatment of many infectious diseases and provides a viable alternative to high-dose intramuscular treatment. However, research is needed on how to express IFN stably in the gut. Bifidobacterium may be a suitable carrier for human gene expression and secretion in the intestinal tract for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. We reported previously that Bifidobacterium longum can be used as a novel oral delivery of IFN-α. IFN-transformed B. longum can exert an immunostimulatory role in mice; however the answer to whether this recombinant B. longum can be used to treat virus infection still remains elusive. Here, we investigated the efficacy of IFN-transformed B. longum administered orally on coxsackie virus B3 (CVB3)-induced myocarditis in BALB/c mice. Our data indicated that oral administration of IFN-transformed B. longum for 2 weeks after virus infection reduced significantly the severity of virus-induced myocarditis, markedly down regulated virus titers in the heart, and induced a T helper 1 cell pattern in the spleen and heart compared with controls. Oral administration of the IFN-transformed B. longum, therefore, may play a potential role in the treatment of CVB3-induced myocarditis.

Keywords:
Bifidobacterium; Coxsackievirus B; Enterovirus; Interferon; Myocarditis; Oral administration