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Nucleotides and AHCC® enhance cell Response in Leishmaniasis in New In Vitro Study

9 Sep 2020
Companion Animal Health
  • The predominance of this type of immune response is associated with milder symptoms and better prognosis of disease
  • Results from new in vitro study in scientific journal Molecules

Leishmaniasis is a zoonotic parasitic disease that can be fatal for both dogs as well as people and is present in more than 50 countries around the world. The disease is transmitted by the bite of flying insects called sand flies (phlebotominae), which act as the vector. The type of immune response in infected individuals is very important in determining how these patients progress and also in shaping their prognosis.

A new in vitro study published in the scientific journal Molecules[1] shows that nucleotides (Nucleoforce® Dogs by Bioiberica) and AHCC® (a standardised extract of cultured shiitake or Lentinula edodes mycelia, produced by Amino Up Co., Sapporo Japan), alone or in combination, have no direct anti-Leishmania activity but do enhance Th1 cell immunity, principally by boosting levels of TNF-α and IFN-γ.

Since Th1 cell immunity is really effective in patients with leishmaniasis and is associated with milder symptoms and a better prognosis of disease, the combination of nucleotides plus AHCC®could be beneficial for canine leishmaniasis and might also be useful in human visceral leishmaniasis,” said Dr. Sergi Segarra, study investigator and Bioiberica R&D Project Manager, Human and Animal Health.

The data also shows a synergistic effect between the two compounds and that their combination leads to better outcomes. This positive impact on the immune system and improvement in Th1 response could explain the beneficial effects described in two previous in vivo studies, published in Veterinary Parasitology[2] and Parasites & Vectors[3].

In the same vein, Bioiberica Companion Animal Health has a clinical study under way to unpack the effect of adding Impromune® (a food supplement based on Nucleoforce® and AHCC®) during the standard treatment protocol for canine leishmaniasis to explore whether dogs given the product suffer fewer relapses of disease.

Impromune® is aproduct recommended to strengthen the immune system and promote both the innate and adaptive response in dogs and cats with immunosuppression problems. Available in tabs and a palatable pasta, it provides essential nutrients that contribute to correct immune-system development across different situations: for puppies with an immature immune system, for small breed dogs and cats with bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic infections (such as leishmaniasis), for post-hospitalisation patients with physiological stress, for dogs and cats with oral health problems, and for senior animals with immunosenescence and difficulty ingesting tablets.

Bioiberica is a worldwide leader in the life sciences sector, committed to improving the health and wellbeing of people, animals and plants. The Companion Animal Health business unit specialises in innovative, science-based solutions to improve the health of chronically ill pets.


[1] Dea-Ayuela, M.A.; Segarra, S.; Serrano, D.R.; Bolás-Fernández, F. Nucleotides and AHCC Enhance Th1 Responses In Vitro in Leishmania-Stimulated/Infected Murine Cells. Molecules 2020, 25, 3918.

[2] Segarra, S., Miró, G., Montoya, A., Pardo-Marín, L., Boqué, N., Ferrer, L., & Cerón, J. (2017). Randomized, allopurinol-controlled trial of the effects of dietary nucleotides and active hexose correlated compound in the treatment of canine leishmaniosis. Veterinary Parasitology239, 50-56.

[3] Segarra,S., Miró, G., Montoya, A., Pardo-Marín, L., Teichenné, J., Ferrer, L., Cerón, JJ: (2018). Prevention of disease progression in Leishmania infantum-infected dogs with dietary nucleotides and active hexose correlated compound. Parasites & Vectors. 2018 Feb 21;11(1):103. doi: 10.1186/s13071-018-2705-z.



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