Effect of fermented wheat germ extract on feline viruses (a pilot study)

Kövesdi V, Stercz B, Tompa A, Ongradi J (2009): Effect of fermented wheat germ extract on feline viruses (a pilot study). Acta Microbiologica et Immunologica Hungarica.

Several, differently processed wheat germ extracts available through pharmacies have immunostimulant effects. As dietary supplements in chronic diseases they improve life quality. A fermented wheat germ extract (FWGE) having Hungarian and FDA approvals increases cellular immunity, natural killer cell activity, IL-2 production, hematological parameters, results in weight gain, but decreases production of autoimmune antibodies. It facilitates programmed cell death of tumorous and leukemic cells. These results suggest its possible benevolent effects in virus infections. In the feline AIDS model, MBM feline lymphoid cells were infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) strains Petaluma (Pet) and Pisa-M2 (M2). HeLa human cervical cancer cells and CRFK normal feline kidney cells were infected with feline adenovirus (FeAdV) and treated with serial dilutions of FWGE subsequently cytopathic effects and virus titres were monitored. FL-4 feline lymphoid cells continuously producing FIV-Pet were similarly treated and followed. It was established that FWGE exerts cellular toxicity at ≥2000 microg/ml, but MBM cells are unusually sensitive to streptomycin. FWGE in a concentration dependent manner slightly increased replication of MBM cells, did not alter that of CRFK, but reduced both growth rate and viability of HeLa cells.
Upon treatment FL-4 cells rapidly died showing morphological signs of apoptosis and their virus production significanly diminished. A single dose of FWGE reduced apoptosis induction of both FIV strains in MBM cultures upto 17 days, and FIV-M2 showed higher sensitivity to FWGE. A single FWGE dose inhibited FeAdV production but facilitated destruction of infected cells upto 6 days postinfection. Among the same conditions its inhibitory effect on HeLa cells lasted upto 3 days, only.
FeAdV produced in HeLa or CRFK cells also showed different sensitivity to FWGE. Preceding FIV infection also reduces replication of FeAdV. lt is concluded that FWGE exerts its effect on the cells primarily, which are different in uninfected and infected cultures. Consequently the latter effects reduce their virus producing capacity. Exploration of the exact pathomechanism and immunological effects by FWGE might determine whether it could be applied along with antiviral drugs in human and feline AIDS to improve life quality lor a longer period.

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