Antiviral effects of a fermented wheat germ extract (Avemar), in the feline AIDS model

Stercz B (2012): A fermentált búzacsíra kivonat (Avemar) antivirális hatásai macska AIDS-modellben. PHD Tudományos Napok 2012 (Semmelweis Egyetem).

Avemar, an FDA-approved supplement for cancerous patients, stimulates cellular immunity, improves hematological parameters, elicits apoptosis of malignant cells, hinders autoimmune reactions. These suggest that Avemar might inhibit human/animal immunosuppressive viruses.
Aims: To study in vitro the inhibitory effect of Avemar on the etiological agent (feline immune deficiency virus, FIV) and its transactivating cofactor (feline adenovirus, FeADV) in the feline AIDS model.
Methods: Feline lymphoid (MBM) and kidney (CrFK) cell cultures were infected with the American (FIV-Pet) and European (FIV-Pisa/M2) isolates of FIV and maintained as with FL-4 lymphoid cells producing FIV continuously. Human cervical cancer cell line (HeLa) and CrFK cells were infected with FeAdV. Infected and uninfected cells were treated with a serial dilution of Avemar, subsequently its toxicity (fotometric assay), as well as viral cytopathic effect and virus load (p24 antigen ELISA) were monitored.
Results: Up to 2000 microg/mL Avemar is not toxic to feline cells. In a dose-dependent manner it augments MBM growth, does not affect CrFK but slightly inhibits HeLa growth. Avemar induces apoptosis and declination of FIV-Pet production of FL-4 cultures. A single Avemar dose inhibits both apoptosis and FIV production by MBM cells for 17 days. FIV-Pisa/M2 is more sensitive. A single Avemar dose also inhibits FeAdV production by CrFK cells for 6 days with accelerated cell death. FeAdV replication in Hela cultures is inhibited for 3 days only. Inhibitory effect depends on the cell line origin of FeAdV. In simultaneous infections, precedent FIV infection decreases FeAdV replication.
Conclusions: Avemar exerts different effects on uninfected and infected cells. It decreases both FIV and FeAdV producing capacity. Facilitating cell death of chronically infected cells is advantageous. Suppression of virus production, but maintenance of cell integrity in an acute infection is protective. In humans and cats Avemar might contribute to viral load suppression and immune restoration.

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