Adjuvant effect of orally applied preparations containing non-digestible polysaccharides on influenza vaccination in healthy seniors : A double-blind, randomised, controlled pilot trial

Laue, Christiane; Stevens, Yala; Erp, Monique van; Papazova, Ekaterina; Soeth, Edlyn; Pannenbeckers, Angelika; Stolte, Ellen; Böhm, Ruwen; Gall, Sophie Le; Falourd, Xavier; Ballance, Simon; Knutsen, Svein H.; Pinheiro, Iris; Possemiers, Sam; Ryan, Paul M.; Ross, R.P.; Stanton, Catherine; Wells, Jerry M.; Werf, Sylvie van der; Mes, Jurriaan J.; Schrezenmeir, Juergen


Senior individuals can suffer from immunosenescence and novel strategies to bolster the immune response could contribute to healthy ageing. In this double-blind, randomised, controlled pilot trial, we investigated the ability of non-digestible polysaccharide (NPS) preparations to enhance the immune response in a human vaccination model. In total, 239 subjects (aged 50–79 years) were randomised to consume one of five different NPS (yeast β-glucan (YBG), shiitake β-glucan (SBG), oat β-glucan (OBG), arabinoxylan (AX), bacterial exopolysaccharide (EPS)) or control (CTRL) product daily for five weeks. After two weeks of intervention, subjects were vaccinated with seasonal influenza vaccine. The post-vaccination increases in haemagglutination inhibition antibody titres and seroprotection rate against the influenza strains were non-significantly enhanced in the NPS intervention groups compared to CTRL. Specifically, a trend towards a higher mean log2 fold increase was observed in the AX group (uncorrected p = 0.074) combined with a trend for an increased seroprotection rate, AX group (48.7%) compared to CTRL (25.6%) (uncorrected p = 0.057), for the influenza A H1N1 strain. Subjects consuming AX also had a reduced incidence of common colds compared to CTRL (1 vs. 8; p = 0.029 in Fisher exact test). No adverse effects of NPS consumption were reported. The findings of this pilot study warrant further research to study AX as an oral adjuvant to support vaccine efficacy.