• Immunostimulator;
  • Staphylococcus aureus;
  • Eimeria vermiformis;
  • Coccidiosis


The effect of β-glucan, extracted from oats, on the enhancement of resistance to infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Eimeria vermiformis was studied in mice. In vitro study using macrophages isolated from the peritoneal cavity showed that β-glucan treatment significantly enhanced phagocytic activity. In vivo study further demonstrated that β-glucan treatment induced a significant (P<0.05) protection against the challenge with 5×108 of S. aureus in mice. Fecal oocyst shedding in the C57BL/6 mice infected with E. vermiformis was diminished by β-glucan treatment by 39.6% in intraperitoneal and 28.5% in intragastric group compared to non-treated control. Patency period was shorter and antigen (sporozoites and merozoites) specific antibodies were significantly (P<0.05–0.01) higher in β-glucan-treated group compared to non-treated control group. There were an increasing number of splenic IFN-γ-secreting cells in glucan-treated group via intraperitoneal route, which might be responsible for the enhancement of the disease resistance. Glucan treatment was able to effectively change the lymphocytes population (Thy 1.2+, CD4+ and CD8+ cells) in the mesenteric lymph nodes and Peyer's patches in mice infected with E. vermiformis. In conclusion, the oral or parenteral oat β-glucan treatment enhanced the resistance to S. aureus or E. vermiformis infection in the mice.