The role of lactobacilli and probiotics in maintaining vaginal health
- 3.4k Downloads
The vaginal microbiota of healthy women consists typically of a diversity of anaerobic and aerobic microorganisms. Lactobacilli are the most prevalent and often numerically dominant microorganisms and are relevant as a barrier to infection. The capacity of lactobacilli to adhere and compete for adhesion sites in the vaginal epithelium and the capacity to produce antimicrobial compounds (hydrogen peroxide, lactic acid, bacteriocin-like substances), are important in the impairment of colonization by pathogens.
This review summarizes the role of lactic acid bacteria in preventing illness of the host, including bacterial vaginosis, yeast vaginitis, urinary tract infection and sexually transmitted diseases.
The administration of probiotics that colonize the vaginal tract can be important in maintaining a normal urogenital health and also to prevent or treat infections.
KeywordsUrogenital tract Lactobacilli Vaginal microbiota Probiotics
This work was supported by National Funds from FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia through project PEst-OE/EQB/LA0016/2011. Financial support for author S. Borges was provided by PhD fellowship, SFRH/BD/45496/2008 (FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia). Editing of this manuscript by Dr P.A. Gibbs is gratefully acknowledged.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
- 8.Döderlein A (1892) Das scheidensekret und seine bedeutung fur puerperalfieber. Zentralblatt fur Bakteriology 11:699Google Scholar
- 17.Vitali B, Pugliese C, Biagi E, Candela M, Turroni S, Bellen G, Donders GGG, Brigidi P (2007) Dynamics of vaginal bacterial communities in women developing bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis, or no infection, analyzed by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and real-time PCR. Appl Environ Microbiol 73:5731–5741PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 24.Dover SE, Aroutcheva AA, Faro S, Chikindas ML (2008) Natural antimicrobials and their role in vaginal health: a short review. Int J Probiot Prebiot 3:219–230Google Scholar
- 35.Wasiela M, Misiak G, Pieczara A, Kalinka J (2008) Association between hydrogen peroxide Lactobacillus species and bacterial vaginosis-related bacteria in vaginal fluid of pregnant women. Arch Perinatol Med 14:23–27Google Scholar
- 41.Pascual LM, Daniele MB, Giordano W, Pájaro MC, Barberis IL (2008) Purification and partial characterization of novel bacteriocin L23 produced by Lactobacillus fermentum L23. Curr Microbiol 397–402Google Scholar
- 43.Dezwaan DC, Mequio MJ, Littell JS, Allen JP, Rossbach S, Pybus V (2007) Purification and characterization of enterocin 62-6, a two-peptide bacteriocin produced by a vaginal strain of Enterococcus faecium: potential significance in bacterial vaginosis. Microb Ecol Health D 19:241–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 44.Karaoğlu ŞA, Aydin F, Kiliç SS, Kiliç AO (2002) Antimicrobial activity and characteristics of bacteriocins produced by vaginal lactobacilli. Turk J Med Sci 33:7–13Google Scholar
- 48.Anukam KC (2007) The potential role of probiotics in reducing poverty-associated infections in developing countries. J Infect Dev Ctries 1:81–83Google Scholar
- 58.Kale V, Trivedi R, Muley P (2008) Proposed design of a dissolution apparatus for vaginal formulations containing probiotics. Dissolut Technol 15:27–29Google Scholar
- 59.Larsson P-G, Stray-Pedersen B, Ryttig KR, Larsen S (2008) Human lactobacilli as supplementation of clindamycin to patients with bacterial vaginosis reduce the recurrence rate; a 6-month, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. BMC Womens Health 8:3PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 60.Kaewnopparat S, Kaewnopparat N (2009) Formulation and evaluation of vaginal suppositories containing Lactobacillus. World Acad Sci Eng Technol 55:25–28Google Scholar