The role of lactobacilli and probiotics in maintaining vaginal health

Sandra Borges, Joana Silva, Paula Teixeira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: 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. Objective: 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. Conclusions: 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-489
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Volume289
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Keywords

  • Lactobacilli
  • Probiotics
  • Urogenital tract
  • Vaginal microbiota

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