Drug Discov Ther. 2021;15(2):51-54. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2021.01020)

Using silkworms to search for lactic acid bacteria that contribute to infection prevention and improvement of hyperglycemia

Miyashita A, Sekimizu K


Bombyx mori, the silkworm, has biological functions in common with mammals, including humans. Since the molecular design of silkworm's innate immune system is analogous to that of mammals, understanding the silkworm's innate immunity is expected to contribute to the control of infection in humans. It is also possible to use silkworms to explore foodstuffs that activate innate immunity. Lactic acid bacteria have long been used in the production of fermented foods, and in recent years, their use as supplements has been attracting attention. Using silkworms, which are laboratory animals, functional lactic acid bacteria can be explored and isolated at low cost. Fermented foods produced by this method are expected to contribute to the maintenance of human health. In addition to the immune system, humans and silkworms share a common mechanism for maintaining blood glucose homeostasis, and it is possible to construct a pathological model of diabetes and search for therapeutic substances using silkworms. Taken together, we propose that the silkworm is useful for assessing the functions of lactic acid bacterial for health purposes.

KEYWORDS: silkworm, functional foods, immune priming, diabetes

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