Background: Probiotics constitute the viable and beneficial microbes, which offer a dietary means to sustain the balance of gastro-intestinal (GI) microflora. Owing to their multiple health benefits, these have recently gained wide attention among researchers for exploring their potential in safeguarding the health of humans and animals. Probiotics could also modulate host-immune responses, thereby help in counteracting the immunological dysfunctions. Probiotics can inhibit the systemic invasion of pathogens entering through the GI mucosa/ oral cavity and have been found to possess effective prophylactic and therapeutic utilities against various infectious pathogens as well as non-infectious diseases and disorders.Objective: The present review expedites the role of probiotics in curing the ailments related to allergic and inflammatory disease conditions. Method: A thorough reviewing of the literature and patents available on probiotics and their role in countering inflammation and allergy was conducted using authentic published resources available on Medline, PubMed, PubMed Central, Science Direct and other scientific databases. The information retrieved has been compiled and analysed pertaining to the theme of the study. Results: Various micro-organisms have been evaluated for their probiotic efficacy, among these, the lactic acid bacteria viz. Lactobacillus sp. and Bifidobacterium sp. have extensively been studied and widely exploited. In the current post-globalized era of self and complementary medicines, the concept of probiotics and their therapeutic as well as prophylactic usage is gaining wide acceptance. As more and more bacterial strains are being proven for their pronounced influence on down regulation of immune regulation, atopic, inflammatory conditions, the use of probiotics is getting increased especially in the developed countries where such indications are high in prevalence. Apart from usage in immune related disorders, probiotics have been found to be effective in treating pouchitis, infantile diarrhoea due to infections, bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections, dental carries, diabetes, cancers as well augmenting the gut mucosal tolerance to various antibiotics and lactose intolerance. Conclusion: The resent review gives an insight towards potent utility of this branch of beneficial microbial therapy in allergy and inflammations, which is still in the emerging phase and more scientific evidences need to be explored regarding exploration of the mechanisms of action, further experimental trials and validation of controlled clinical studies in humans along with designing novel strategies for monitoring the possible microbial changes in their composition and metabolism associated with their interaction upon host immune system.
Keywords: Allergy, beneficial microbes, immune response, immunomodulation, inflammation, modes of action, probiotics, treatment.