Special Issue "Nutrition, Immunity and Viral Infection"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutritional Immunology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Ichimura
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Viral Infection and International Health, Graduate School of Advanced Preventive Medical Sciences/Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan
Interests: viral and host factors associated with disease progression in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children and neuropathogenic expression mechanism of enterovirus A-71; impact of HIV infection on the other infectious diseases; effect of probiotics on gut microbiota and immune status of HIV-infected children

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The nutritional status of the host has been associated with both severity and susceptibility to infectious diseases. It is suggested that inadequate nutrition impairs the functioning of the immune system and also affects the viral pathogen, resulting in increased susceptibility to the infection. The main objective of this Special Issue is to assess the relationship between viral infection and the nutritional status of the host, particularly to see if the nutritional status of the host can affect immune function and have profound effects on the virus itself. On this topic, you are invited to submit proposals for manuscripts that fit the objectives and the topics of this Special Issue.

In this proposed Special Issue on "Nutrition, Immunity and Viral Infection", papers (reviews and/or clinical or experimental studies) dealing with various aspects of nutrition that could play a role in systemic/gut immunity and the pathogenesis of viral infectious diseases will be included.

Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Ichimura
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Immunity
  • Gut microbiota
  • Viral infection
  • Probiotics
  • Micronutrients
  • Vitamins
  • Fatty acids

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Development of an Affordable, Sustainable and Efficacious Plant-Based Immunomodulatory Food Ingredient Based on Bell Pepper or Carrot RG-I Pectic Polysaccharides
Nutrients 2021, 13(3), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030963 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
The prevalence of acute respiratory infections and their impact on quality of life underlies the need for efficacious solutions that are safe, sustainable and economically viable. Polysaccharides in several (traditional) plant extracts have been shown to be immunostimulatory, and some studies suggest beneficial [...] Read more.
The prevalence of acute respiratory infections and their impact on quality of life underlies the need for efficacious solutions that are safe, sustainable and economically viable. Polysaccharides in several (traditional) plant extracts have been shown to be immunostimulatory, and some studies suggest beneficial effects against respiratory infections. The aim of this study was to (i) identify the active polysaccharide constituents from affordable and renewable crops (bell pepper and carrot) using activity-guided fractionation, (ii) evaluate in vitro effects on innate immune responses (phagocytosis and cytokine secretion), microbiota modulation and production of short chain fatty acids, followed by (iii) the evaluation of effects of a bell pepper extract enriched for the active component in a human proof of concept study. We identified rhamnogalacturonan-I (RG-I) as the nutricophore responsible for the immunostimulatory activity with substantial structural and functional equivalence between bell pepper (bp) and carrot (c). The in vitro studies showed that bpRG-I and cRG-I comprise similar immune- and microbiota modulatory potential and the human study demonstrated that bpRG-I was well tolerated and enhanced innate immune responsiveness in vivo. This is an important step towards testing the efficacy of RG-I from bpRG-I or cRG-I in an infection trial in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Immunity and Viral Infection)
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Article
Carrot Pomace Polysaccharide (CPP) Improves Influenza Vaccine Efficacy in Immunosuppressed Mice via Dendritic Cell Activation
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2740; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092740 - 09 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2430
Abstract
Despite the advancements in vaccination research and practices, influenza viruses remain a global health concern. Inducing a robust immune response by vaccination is especially challenging in the elderly, the immunocompromised, and persons with chronic illnesses. Polysaccharides derived from food may act as a [...] Read more.
Despite the advancements in vaccination research and practices, influenza viruses remain a global health concern. Inducing a robust immune response by vaccination is especially challenging in the elderly, the immunocompromised, and persons with chronic illnesses. Polysaccharides derived from food may act as a safe and readily accessible means to boost the immune system during vaccination. In this study, we investigated whether crude polysaccharides derived from carrot pomace (CPP) could stimulate innate immune cell function and promote influenza vaccine immunogenicity. In bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs), CPP increased the fraction of CD11c+MHCII+ cells and the expression of co-stimulatory molecules CD40 and CD80, indicative of enhanced maturation and activation. Functionally, CPP-treated BMDCs promoted inflammatory cytokine production in splenic lymphocytes. In a mouse model of immunosuppression induced by cyclophosphamide, animals given CPP before and after an influenza vaccine challenge showed increased frequencies of dendritic cells and natural killer cells in the spleen, in addition to the recovery of vaccine-specific antibody titers. Moreover, innate myeloid cells in CPP-fed mice showed evidence of phenotypic modification via markedly enhanced interleukin(IL)-12 and interferon(IFN)-γ production in response to lipopolysaccharide(LPS) stimulation ex vivo. Our findings suggest that the administration of carrot pomace polysaccharides can significantly enhance the efficacy of influenza vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Immunity and Viral Infection)
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Article
Oral Supplementation of the Vitamin D Metabolite 25(OH)D3 Against Influenza Virus Infection in Mice
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2000; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072000 - 05 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1717
Abstract
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is metabolized by the liver into 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and then by the kidney into 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D], which activates the vitamin D receptor expressed in various cells, including immune cells, for an overall [...] Read more.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is metabolized by the liver into 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and then by the kidney into 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D], which activates the vitamin D receptor expressed in various cells, including immune cells, for an overall immunostimulatory effect. Here, to investigate whether oral supplementation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3], a major form of vitamin D metabolite 25(OH)D, has a prophylactic effect on influenza A virus infection, mice were fed a diet containing a high dose of 25(OH)D3 and were challenged with the influenza virus. In the lungs of 25(OH)D3-fed mice, the viral titers were significantly lower than in the lungs of standardly fed mice. Additionally, the proinflammatory cytokines IL-5 and IFN-γ were significantly downregulated after viral infection in 25(OH)D3-fed mice, while anti-inflammatory cytokines were not significantly upregulated. These results indicate that 25(OH)D3 suppresses the production of inflammatory cytokines and reduces virus replication and clinical manifestations of influenza virus infection in a mouse model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Immunity and Viral Infection)
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Review

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Review
In the Age of Viral Pandemic, Can Ingredients Inspired by Human Milk and Infant Nutrition Be Repurposed to Support the Immune System?
Nutrients 2021, 13(3), 870; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030870 - 06 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1620
Abstract
In 2020, with the advent of a pandemic touching all aspects of global life, there is a renewed interest in nutrition solutions to support the immune system. Infants are vulnerable to infection and breastfeeding has been demonstrated to provide protection. As such, human [...] Read more.
In 2020, with the advent of a pandemic touching all aspects of global life, there is a renewed interest in nutrition solutions to support the immune system. Infants are vulnerable to infection and breastfeeding has been demonstrated to provide protection. As such, human milk is a great model for sources of functional nutrition ingredients, which may play direct roles in protection against viral diseases. This review aims to summarize the literature around human milk (lactoferrin, milk fat globule membrane, osteopontin, glycerol monolaurate and human milk oligosaccharides) and infant nutrition (polyunsaturated fatty acids, probiotics and postbiotics) inspired ingredients for support against viral infections and the immune system more broadly. We believe that the application of these ingredients can span across all life stages and thus apply to both pediatric and adult nutrition. We highlight the opportunities for further research in this field to help provide tangible nutrition solutions to support one’s immune system and fight against infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Immunity and Viral Infection)
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Review
Obesity, Nutrients and the Immune System in the Era of COVID-19
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020610 - 13 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1815
Abstract
The past year has shown that obesity is a risk factor for severe complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Excess fat mass during obesity is known to be a risk factor for chronic diseases but also for severe infections and infectious complications. We have focused [...] Read more.
The past year has shown that obesity is a risk factor for severe complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Excess fat mass during obesity is known to be a risk factor for chronic diseases but also for severe infections and infectious complications. We have focused here on the elements responsible for this particular susceptibility to infections and more specifically to COVID-19. Excess fat is, in itself, responsible for alterations of the immune system by disrupting the production and function of immune cells. Indeed, hypertrophic adipocytes produce more pro-inflammatory adipokines (including cytokines). The increase in their apoptosis induces a release of pro-inflammatory compounds into the circulation and a recruitment of pro-inflammatory macrophages into the adipose tissue. A chronic systemic inflammatory state is then observed. In addition, diet, apart from its role in the development of adipose tissue, can also affect the immune system, with excess simple sugars and saturated fats exerting pro-inflammatory effects. This inflammation, the adipokines released by the adipocytes, and the infiltration of lipids into the lymphoid organs affects the production of immune cells and, directly, the functions of these cells. The alteration of the immune system increases the risk of infection as well as complications, including secondary bacterial infections and septic states, and increases infection-related mortality. During COVID-19, the chronic inflammatory state promotes the cytokine shock, characteristic of severe forms, caused in particular by excessive activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Furthermore, in obese subjects, the already present endothelial dysfunction will render endothelial inflammation (endotheliitis) due to viral infiltration all the more severe. Added to this is a state of hypercoagulability and a decrease in respiratory capacity, leading to a risk of severe COVID-19 with cardiovascular complications, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and disseminated intravascular coagulation, which can lead to multiple organ failure and even death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Immunity and Viral Infection)
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Review
The Role of Micronutrients in Support of the Immune Response against Viral Infections
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3198; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103198 - 20 Oct 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 4189
Abstract
Viral infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and the importance of public health practices including handwashing and vaccinations in reducing their spread is well established. Furthermore, it is well known that proper nutrition can help support optimal immune function, [...] Read more.
Viral infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and the importance of public health practices including handwashing and vaccinations in reducing their spread is well established. Furthermore, it is well known that proper nutrition can help support optimal immune function, reducing the impact of infections. Several vitamins and trace elements play an important role in supporting the cells of the immune system, thus increasing the resistance to infections. Other nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, help sustain optimal function of the immune system. The main aim of this manuscript is to discuss of the potential role of micronutrients supplementation in supporting immunity, particularly against respiratory virus infections. Literature analysis showed that in vitro and observational studies, and clinical trials, highlight the important role of vitamins A, C, and D, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc in modulating the immune response. Supplementation with vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and zinc appears to be a safe and low-cost way to support optimal function of the immune system, with the potential to reduce the risk and consequences of infection, including viral respiratory infections. Supplementation should be in addition to a healthy diet and fall within recommended upper safety limits set by scientific expert bodies. Therefore, implementing an optimal nutrition, with micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids supplementation, might be a cost-effective, underestimated strategy to help reduce the burden of infectious diseases worldwide, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Immunity and Viral Infection)
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Review
Effective Immune Functions of Micronutrients against SARS-CoV-2
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 2992; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12102992 - 29 Sep 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3958
Abstract
The third coronavirus outbreak in the last two decades has caused significant damage to the world’s economy and community health. The highly contagious COVID-19 infection has affected millions of people to date and has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide. Aside [...] Read more.
The third coronavirus outbreak in the last two decades has caused significant damage to the world’s economy and community health. The highly contagious COVID-19 infection has affected millions of people to date and has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide. Aside from the highly infectious nature of SARS-CoV-2, the lack of a treatment or vaccine has been the main reason for its spread. Thus, it has become necessary to find alternative methods for controlling SARS-CoV-2. For the present review, we conducted an online search for different available nutrition-based therapies for previously known coronavirus infections and RNA-based virus infections as well as general antiviral therapies. These treatments have promise for combating COVID-19, as various nutrients and minerals play direct and indirect roles in the control and prevention of this newly emerged viral infection. The patients’ nutritional status with COVID-19 must be analyzed before administering any treatment, and nutritional supplements should be given to the affected individuals along with routine treatment. We suggest a potential interventional role of nutrients to strengthen the immune system against the emerging infection caused by COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Immunity and Viral Infection)
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Review
The Antiviral, Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Natural Medicinal Herbs and Mushrooms and SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2573; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092573 - 25 Aug 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 5359
Abstract
The 2019 novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, producing the disease COVID-19 is a pathogenic virus that targets mostly the human respiratory system and also other organs. SARS-CoV-2 is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans, however there have been previous outbreaks [...] Read more.
The 2019 novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, producing the disease COVID-19 is a pathogenic virus that targets mostly the human respiratory system and also other organs. SARS-CoV-2 is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans, however there have been previous outbreaks of different versions of the beta coronavirus including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV1) from 2002 to 2003 and the most recent Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) which was first identified in 2012. All of the above have been recognised as major pathogens that are a great threat to public health and global economies. Currently, no specific treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection has been identified; however, certain drugs have shown apparent efficacy in viral inhibition of the disease. Natural substances such as herbs and mushrooms have previously demonstrated both great antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity. Thus, the possibilities of natural substances as effective treatments against COVID-19 may seem promising. One of the potential candidates against the SARS-CoV-2 virus may be Inonotus obliquus (IO), also known as chaga mushroom. IO commonly grows in Asia, Europe and North America and is widely used as a raw material in various medical conditions. In this review, we have evaluated the most effective herbs and mushrooms, in terms of the antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects which have been assessed in laboratory conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Immunity and Viral Infection)
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