Thursday, June 04, 2015

Bee Venom Could Help Treat Viral Infections

Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Venom Reinforces Viral Clearance during the Early Stage of Infection with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus through the Up-Regulation of Th1-Specific Immune Responses

Toxins (Basel). 2015 May 22;7(5):1837-53

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is a chronic and immunosuppressive viral disease that is responsible for substantial economic losses for the swine industry. Honeybee venom (HBV) is known to possess several beneficial biological properties, particularly, immunomodulatory effects.

Therefore, this study aimed at evaluating the effects of HBV on the immune response and viral clearance during the early stage of infection with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) in pigs.

HBV was administered via three routes of nasal, neck, and rectal and then the pigs were inoculated with PRRSV intranasally. The CD4+/CD8+ cell ratio and levels of interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-12 were significantly increased in the HBV-administered healthy pigs via nasal and rectal administration.

In experimentally PRRSV-challenged pigs with virus, the viral genome load in the serum, lung, bronchial lymph nodes and tonsil was significantly decreased, as was the severity of interstitial pneumonia, in the nasal and rectal administration group. Furthermore, the levels of Th1 cytokines (IFN-γ and IL-12) were significantly increased, along with up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β) with HBV administration.

Thus, HBV administration-especially via the nasal or rectal route-could be a suitable strategy for immune enhancement and prevention of PRRSV infection in pigs.

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