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Red Algae Polysaccharides


Potential Uses of Red Algae Polysaccharides – Food Fibers - in Complex Treatment of Bacterial Infections and Correction of Microbiocenosis Disorder

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-DIV/Biodiversity/Biotechnology
  • MED-DRG/Drug Discovery/Medicine

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russia, Primorsky reg., Vladivostok


  • Kanto Gakuin University, Japan, Kanagawa\nCNRS / Station Biologique, France, Paris\nAkita University / Bioscience Education Research Center, Japan, Akita\nJan Kochanowski University of Humanities and Sciences, Poland, Kielce\nKyonggi University, Korea, Gveonggi-do

Project summary

The Project aim. Within the framework of this project it is planned to use the red alga polysaccharides during complex therapy of patients with bacterial infections and digestive system pathologies for corrections of the immune, hemostasis, and microbiocenosis disorders. The special attention will be given to an estimation of clinical efficiency biologically food supplement “Carrageenan - DV” accepted as capsules by the patients with gastro enteric path diseases of bacterial etiology who are standing on treatment in the Hospital of FEB RAS. Samples of polysaccharides – carrageenans corresponding to medical safety will have been prepared from red seaweeds of the Sea of Japan.

Current status. Infectious diseases still become the basic reason of health deterioration of millions peoples around the world and one of the mains reasons of mortality today. Despite of the adherent use of antibiotics and vaccine programs the tendency to bacterial infectious growth is observed of late years. Their range is amplifying by means of illnesses that, as was deemed earlier, are noninfectious such as gastroduodenal ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori promoting stomach cancer development. The gastritis induced by Helicobacter is considered to become an epidemic the expansion of which is one of the highest in the world. The problems of the etiotropic therapy are concluded to pathogen resistance to antibacterial preparations, to multiple drug resistance. Intestinal disorder medicamentous therapy with antibacterial preparations frequently aggravates the dysbiosis development especially at the case of extended employment of antibiotics. Probiotic preparations and food additives as food fibers – prebiotics stimulating the useful bacteria growth are employed for reduction of normal microbiocenosis. Red alga polysaccharides – carrageenans – utilized as the gelling and stabilizing agents of manifold food products are referred to soluble food fibers and included in the list of food and medical products [Food and Drug 2000]. Proposed for the investigation carrageenan samples received at the Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry entirely correspond to requirements of International Food Additive and Drug Committee applying to such an important parameter as molecular mass – it may not be less than 100 kDa. Carrageenan pharmacologic effect on human organism under oral administration is not studied practically. Red algae are widely abundant in the Russian Pacific coast and present ecologically clear and renew source of polysaccharides – carrageenans.

The project’ influence on progress in this area. Scientific approaches to health promotion of human organism based on complex application of polysaccharides of seaweeds are a perspective direction in medicine and biotechnology. At the case of successful project ending the obtained data first of all will allow to enlarge the spectrum of the preparations effective during complex therapy of different infectious bacterial forms, normalizing the immunity and hemostasis parameters, and intestine microbiocenosis. Specification of new indications to biologically food supplement “Carrageenan - DV” prescription and elaboration of the recommendations on its application during remedial practice will become as the result of biomedical studies. The Far East possesses extensive resources of algae containing carrageenan and also possibilities for their cultivation in plantations. The elaboration of new technologies based on carrageenan obtaining from seaweeds will allow to create modern preparations with medical and prophylaxis tendency and promote marine biotechnology development.

The participants’ expertise. Studies on the structure and biological activity of red alga polysaccharides are being kept in the Pacific Institute of Bioorganic chemistry for thirty years. The project participants have found carrageenan sources among the most abundant Sea of Japan red algae, elaborated the technologic procedure of carrageenan preparation from red seaweeds and received permission on it (N Т.000290.02.10). The project participants have received the preliminary data, which give serious bases to suppose, that carrageenan can be effectively used during bacterial infectious complex therapy. We have shown in vivo first that carrageenans influence on a number of nonspecific processes characteristic for organism answer to LPS-induced endotoxinemia (the patent to invention N 2351351). We have received the data of carrageenan correcting effect on some biochemical parameters of homeostasis, hemostasis and immune system of patients with acute enteric infections. We have found the ability of some carrageenan structural types of increasing the lactobacterium growth (the patent to invention N 2375878). We have elaborated biologically active food supplement (BAFS) “Carrageenan - DV” on the carrageenan basis, which entirely corresponds to requests brought to biologically active food supplements and drugs used under oral administration (N 08.02.2010). The pledge of the project successful realization is longstanding experience of the staff during the polysaccharide structure and biological activity investigation, availability of the wide set of the various structural carrageenan types and necessary material basis for their investigation, collaborating with Moscow’s and Vlapostok’s medical hospitals, and scientific contacts with scholars from South Korea, France, Poland that are specialists in this field which are agree to be project collaborators.

Expected results and their application. The project tasks are directed to solution of vital important social and economic assignments. The data obtained at the end of its fulfillment will create the perspective for broad application of biopolymer from sea raw materials as medical preparations, which can become an alternative to uncontrolled application of antibiotics. The clinical efficiency of carrageenan application during complex therapy of patients with bacterial infections and digestive system disorders will have been determined. The obtaining of the standard samples of carrageenans possessing the most expressed antibacterial, immunomodulatory, anticoagulant, antiadhesive and prebiotic properties will also contribute to marine biotechnology development. The data received as the result of performance will expand a basis for the organization of manufactures on processing seaweed and obtaining of domestic preparations from ecologically clear sea raw materials.

Meeting the ISTC goals and objectives. The tasks decided during project realization correspond to ISTC aims directed to development of the fundamental and applied investigations, to support of scientific organizations under their crossing to market economy. The accordance of these aims is also achieved by means of planned wide involvement of scientists from participating organizations to the world scientific community by presenting project information on international conferences and seminars, on conjointly publications and patents.

Scope of activities. The following basic tasks must be decided for achievement of the present aim:

  1. The clinical efficiency of the biologically active food supplement “Carrageenan - DV” during complex therapy of patients with bacterial infections and digestive system disorders will have been determined. The carrageenan influence on the clinical symptom severity, their relapse frequency, the life quality parameters, the hemostasis and digestive system microbiocenosis parameters will have been investigated.
  2. The biological activity (in vitro and ex vivo models) of carrageenans isolated from red seaweeds of the Pacific Ocean coast to select the most active preparations, which are able to be used for correction the hemostasis system, immunity and gut microbiocenosis disorders will have been studied.
  3. The trends of carrageenan structure alteration depending on alga species, the stage of the alga development, collection time and environmental conditions will have been determined for the purpose of obtaining the carrageenan preparations with standard characteristics corresponding to the requirements of the medical safety.
  4. The universal mode of red seaweed treatment for carrageenan prepared both for medical and dietary prescription and for cosmetic industry will have been elaborated. New results will have been patented.

Role of Foreign Collaborators/Partners. Information change, writing of combined articles and issuing of international patents, conducting of joint symposiums and work seminars and joint employment of some equipment and materials with collaborators are planned in accordance to the aim of tasks decided during the present project.

Technical approach and methodology. The directional disintegration of polysaccharides is forecasted for receiving oligosaccharides by use of carrageenases. The investigation of structure oligo- and polysaccharides will be realized by means of NMR-, FTIR-IR and MALDI spectroscopy; physicochemical characteristics by HPLC, quasi-elastic light scattering, electron and atomic force microscopy. Activities of carrageenans: immunomodulatory (cytokine-inducing activity; the lymphocyte-proliferating, the phagocytosis stimulating (flow cytometry), anticomplementary, anticoagulation (“Biola” aggregometer), adhesive (cell cultural model HeLa) will have been defined in vitro. Organism nonspecific resistance to gram-negative bacteria as a result of carrageenan effect will have been studied on laboratory animals investigating the biochemical and pathomorphological parameters. Polysaccharide and oligosaccharide prebiotic properties will have been investigated on the basis of their effect on Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium sp bacterium growth and on the inhibition E. coli and Clostridium sp growth, on the inhibition E. coli adhesion to HT-29 cell monolayer.

The “Carrageenan - DV” pharmacologic effect on patients will have been determined by its immunomocorrecting effect; by the influence on hemostasis; by blood biochemical analysis; by detecting the digestive system mucosa functional status (“GastroPanel”); by presence of H. pilori using urease breath test, and determining bacterial antigens and DNA in fecals and in biopsy material respectively; by H. pylori genotyping by virulent genes; by microbiocenosis digestive system state using analysis of fecals on dysbiosis.


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