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Current Microbiology

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 219–223 | Cite as

Influence of the spermicidal compound nonoxynol-9 on the growth and adhesion of urogenital bacteria in vitro

  • Jacqueline A. McGroarty
  • Stephanie Chong
  • Gregor Reid
  • Andrew W. Bruce
Article

Abstract

Lactobacilli and uropathogenic bacteria isolated from the female urogenital tract were tested for their susceptibility to nonoxynol-9. Nonoxynol-9 is a spermicidal compound, generally used at a concentration of 5% in cream and 12.5% in foam. The growth of 67% of fresh, vaginal lactobacillus isolates was inhibited by concentrations of nonoxynol-9 between 0.1% and 1.0%; these were termed sensitive. Of a total of 47 lactobacilli from various sources, 55% were found to be sensitive to nonoxynol-9, being bacteriostatic for 42% of these isolates and bactericidal for the remaining 58% at N-9 concentrations ⩾1.0%. The remaining lactobacilli and 96% (48/50) of uropathogenic organisms had minimal inhibitory concentrations of ⩾25% for nonoxynol-9. Inhibition of the lactobacilli did not appear to be species specific nor related to the source of the lactobacilli. The adhesion of Gram-positive bacteria, namely lactobacilli and enterococci, to HeLa cells in tissue culture was significantly increased over 60 min in the presence of physiologically used concentrations of nonoxynol-9; however, adhesion ofEscherichia coli was not affected. We believe that nonoxynol-9 has the potential to increase susceptibility to urinary tract infection in women using spermicidal preparations for contraception by inhibiting the growth of lactobacilli, which are believed to have a protective function in the vagina, and allowing overgrowth of uropathogenic bacteria.

Keywords

Foam Tissue Culture Urinary Tract Tract Infection HeLa Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacqueline A. McGroarty
    • 1
  • Stephanie Chong
    • 2
  • Gregor Reid
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrew W. Bruce
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Urology, Department of SurgeryUniversity of Toronto, Toronto General HospitalTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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