Lactobacillus-based probiotics can be beneficial to vaginal health: this result is a research group led by Harold Marcotte who published the study on Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
According to the researchers, three particular genes of a probiotic species of Lactobacillus, used in appropriate probiotic vaginal capsules of those on the market, are involved “in the mediation of adhesion to the vaginal epithelium.” As Marcotte explains, some particular female urogenital infections, such as bacterial vaginosis, can be caused by an imbalance in the vaginal microbiome, in particular by a decrease in lactobacilli.
It is precisely in this case that an additional administration of lactobacilli can counteract this disease by helping to restore a healthy microbiome. By adhering to the vaginal walls, lactobacilli can make life more difficult for pathogens with regard to their attempts to infect tissues.
The importance of this research, according to Marcotte himself, also lies in the method used. To date, there has been some difficulty in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying probiotic activity. Marcotte and his team have therefore developed a new tool that, following the deactivation of particular genes, allows the genome of the lactobacilli to be modified and to detect the function of the genes with extreme precision.
It was with this method that they discovered a particular positive action of a Lactobacillus gasseri gene that allows the bacterium to adhere strongly to vaginal epithelial cells.
“This is clear evidence that the proteins encoded by these genes, which include a new adhesion factor, are all involved in adhesion to vaginal epithelial cells,” says Marcotte himself.