Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 modulates host inflammatory processes beyond the gut

David Groeger, Liam O'Mahony, Eileen F. Murphy, John F. Bourke, Timothy G. Dinan, Barry Kiely, Fergus Shanahan, Eamonn M M Quigley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

277 Scopus citations


Certain therapeutic microbes, including Bifidobacteria infantis (B. infantis) 35624, exert beneficial immunoregulatory effects by mimicking commensal-immune interactions; however, the value of these effects in patients with non-gastrointestinal inflammatory conditions remains unclear. In this study, we assessed the impact of oral administration of B. infantis 35624 for 6-8 weeks on inflammatory biomarker and plasma cytokine levels in patients with ulcerative colitis (Uc) (n = 22), chronic fatigue syndrome (cFs) (n = 48) and psoriasis (n = 26) in three separate randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled interventions. Additionally, the effect of B. infantis 35624 on immunological biomarkers in healthy subjects (n = 22) was assessed. At baseline, both gastrointestinal (Uc) and non-gastrointestinal (cFs and psoriasis) patients had significantly increased plasma levels of c-reactive protein (cRp) and the pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) compared with healthy volunteers. B. infantis 35624 feeding resulted in reduced plasma cRp levels in all three inflammatory disorders compared with placebo. Interestingly, plasma TNF-α was reduced in cFs and psoriasis while IL-6 was reduced in Uc and cFs. Furthermore, in healthy subjects, Lps-stimulated TNF-α and IL-6 secretion by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (pBMcs) was signifcantly reduced in the B. infantis 35624-treated groups compared with placebo following eight weeks of feeding. These results demonstrate the ability of this microbe to reduce systemic pro-inflammatory biomarkers in both gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal conditions. In conclusion, these data show that the immunomodulatory effects of the microbiota in humans are not limited to the mucosal immune system but extend to the systemic immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-339
Number of pages15
JournalGut Microbes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • B. infantis 35624
  • C-reactive protein
  • Immunity
  • Inflammation
  • Microbiota

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology


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