Lactobacillus plantarum Lp62 exerts probiotic effects against Gardnerella vaginalis ATCC 49154 in bacterial vaginosis.Lett Appl Microbiol. 2021 Nov; 73(5):579-589.LA
The severe side-effects elicited by conventional antibiotic therapy and the recurrence of Bacterial vaginosis-associated bacteria and bacterial resistance have led to the development of novel alternative therapies, among which genital probiotics are widely used. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial activities of Lactobacillus plantarum Lp62 and its supernatant against Gardnerella vaginalis, using both in vitro and in vivo approaches. In vitro assays were used to evaluate the viability of the strain and the antimicrobial activities of the supernatant in different pH ranges. An in vivo assay was performed on female BALB/c mice, wherein the animals were divided into eight groups: four control groups and four treated groups (for curative and preventive therapies). After infecting and treating the mice, the animals were killed to quantify the bacterial load using qPCR, evaluate leucocyte cellular response, determine vaginal cytokine levels and perform cytokine tissue gene expression. Our analyses revealed significant activity of the strain and its supernatant against G. vaginalis. Preliminary in vitro tests showed that the strain grew with equal efficiency in different pH ranges. Meanwhile, the presence of halo and inhibition of pathogen growth established the significant activity of the supernatant against G. vaginalis. We observed that both micro-organisms are resident bacteria of mouse microbiota and that the lactobacilli population growth was affected by G. vaginalis and vice versa. We also observed that the treated groups, with their low bacterial load, absence of leucocyte recruitment, reduced cytokine levels in the vaginal lavage and normalized cytokine gene expression, successfully controlled the infection.